Late yesterday, the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) issued a Certificate of Public Good for the diesel generator at Vermont Yankee. I link to their order issuing the certificate here.
It's a 42 page order, fairly evenly divided between the history of the docket, boilerplate, and snark.
The snarky part is their insistence that they are issuing this order because Vermont Yankee needs the diesel generator even if it were "in compliance" with their previous orders and was shut down. (They do not actually have such a previous order...it is just implied within other orders. They could have issued an order to shut down, but then they would find themselves in court...) The last two pages of this order, by one of the commissioners, is definitely worth reading. The commissioner blames Vermont Yankee for the delay in issuing the order! Amusing, in a sort of sick way. (I am a blogger. I have opinions.)
Still, the whole thing was a win-win. And the winners were:
- Vermont Yankee got permission to put in their diesel generator.
- The Public Service Board had an opportunity to write about "their previous orders," which they love to reference. Since an order to shut the plant does not exist, they can't quote the actual order, but that's nit-picking.
- The Public Service Board avoided federal court judgment about the diesels. With this PSB ruling, the on-going federal court case became moot. The federal court will not rule against the PSB on the basis of pre-emption about nuclear safety equipment, because the case is moot. Therefore, the PSB can consider their honor intact. Also, if the federal court had ruled against the PSB on pre-emption about the diesels, the state would look pretty bad in terms of the main federal case about pre-emption
In short, the PSB dodged a major federal court bullet by issuing the certificate, and everybody wins.
Have a great weekend!