Today, March 21, the NRC issued the license. I can't find the license letter at the NRC website yet, so I have linked to it at the Vermont Digger site.
Due to the events in Japan, all power plants in this country will be under new types of review in the future. That is exactly what should happen! I am glad to see that the NRC is not putting the cart before the horse. They are not attempting to set up "lessons learned" before "facts are known." The Vermont Yankee license extension shows that the NRC is sticking to its procedures, which include assessment before rulemaking.
As described in this AP report, many people view the VY license extension with alarm. As you could predict, Senator Bernie Sanders is particularly concerned.
Though Vermont Yankee has its license, Larry Smith of Vermont Yankee was quite right to say that "(The license is) not a cause right now for any celebration in light of world events." Nobody in the industry is in a celebratory mood. Still, I am cheered that the horse of facts will pull the cart of lessons learned at the NRC, and that Vermont Yankee has its license.
Update: In other local news, the Vermont Senate is beginning to look at the economic consequences of closing Vermont Yankee.
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