The Future of Nuclear Energy

The fight is on over the fate of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, located on the banks of the Connecticut River, just north of the Massachusetts border. Vermont officials say they have the authority to force the plants closure next year, but that would mean the loss of hundreds of jobs and a relatively cheap energy source. Entergy, which owns the plant, is suing the state to keep it open. And Japan’s Fukushima disaster has intensified the debate. Thursday May 5th, on the next Focus Western New England, live from 4pm to 5pm on 88.5 FM WFCR, we’ll talk about the future of nuclear energy in Vermont, and beyond. Listen again at 6pm on 640 AM WNNZ.

  • Studio Guests:
  • Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin
  • Patrick Parenteau, Senior Counsel to the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic and Professor of Law, Vermont Law School
  • Gilbert Brown, chair of the Nuclear Engineering Program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Ray Shadis from New England Coalition Against Nuclear Pollution
  • Randy Kehler from Safe and Green Campaign, Greenfield, MA


Photo credit: Peter Moskowitz – A worker at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power station checks a monitoring well last year – when radioactive tritium was found leaking into ground water.

The owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant are taking the state of Vermont to court. WFCR’s Fred Bever reports that, depending on the outcome of the case, the plant could shut down next year – or stay in service for another twenty years.

Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors are causing more scrutiny of nuclear plants across the United States. As WFCR’s Jill Kaufman reports, last week’s earth quake and tsunami came just as Vermont Yankee received a renewed license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to operate for 20 more years.

Follow WFCR’s recent coverage of Vermont Yankee below:

  • 4-25-11 WFCR News
  • Entergy Corporation took out full page ads in several Vermont newspapers this week, appealing to readers to see its side. The company is suing the state of Vermont, to keep Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant open. As WFCR’s Catherine Hannula reports, some energy experts think the corporation has quite a fight on its hands.

  • 4-18-11 WFCR News
  • The owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant are taking the state of Vermont to court. WFCR’s Fred Bever reports that, depending on the outcome of the case, the plant could shut down next year – or stay in service for another twenty years.

  • 4-18-11 WFCR News
  • Massachusetts lawmakers this week held a hearing on the safety of nuclear power plants in and around the state. They heard testimony from the industry, from regulators and activists, some who live close to Vermont Yankee. The NRC’s recent decision to extend Vermont Yankee’s operating license to 2032 is not welcome news for some, including VT lawmakers. John Dillon from Vermont Public Radio has been reporting on Vermont Yankee since the 1980s. He spoke with WFCR’s Bob Paquette about the plant’s fate.

  • 3-22-11 WFCR News
  • The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant a 20-year extension of its license, which was due to expire in March of 2012. But Vermont lawmakers can bar the plant from gaining a state certificate of public good, which they say is also needed to continue operating. But Vernon Republican State Representative Michael Hebert told WFCR’s Bob Paquette he has filed a bill that would bypass the legislature and limit plant oversight to the Public Service Board.

  • 3-14-11 WFCR News
    Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors are causing more scrutiny of nuclear plants across the United States. As WFCR’s Jill Kaufman reports, last week’s earth quake and tsunami came just as Vermont Yankee received a renewed license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to operate for 20 more years.