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Vermont Yankee Lawsuit: VT Law School Experts Available to Comment on Key Hearing, Will Host Public Forum on Troubled Nuclear Plant

June 20, 2011

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- Vermont Law School faculty experts are available to comment on a key hearing Thursday and Friday in U.S. District Court on the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

VLS faculty also will debate the lawsuit at a public forum at 4:30 p.m., Monday, June 27 in the Chase Community Center.

The future of nuclear power nationally could be influenced by the outcome of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC et. al. v. Shumlin et. al., which is why the case is being watched so closely nationwide.Image of Vermont Yankee

The hearing set for Thursday and Friday is on Entergy's motion for a preliminary injunction to keep the plant operating pending a hearing on the case's merits. Judge Gavin Murtha has scheduled a trial on the merits for October, so the narrow question presented at this juncture is whether Entergy will suffer "irreparable harm" between now and October.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given Entergy, which owns Vermont Yankee, a license to operate for another 20 years after its original 40-year federal license expires in March 2012. But the Vermont Legislature has refused to allow the state Public Service Board to issue a certificate of public good, which is required under state law.

Entergy's lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Vermont's law giving the state legislature veto power over the reactor's operation, as well as the right of any state utility commission to determine whether nuclear power should be part of a mix of electricity generation produced within the state.

VLS faculty are providing analysis of the case's environmental, constitutional and political implications on their "Vermont Yankee Lawsuit" commentary blog.

VLS faculty available to comment include:
Professor Pat Parenteau, whose expertise includes climate change: 802.831.1305,
Adjunct Professor Peter Bradford, a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: 802.824.4296,
Professor Michael Dworkin, director of VLS's Institute for Energy and the Environment: 802.831.1319,
Assistant Professor Don Kreis, an expert on energy and regulatory law: 802.831.1374,
Professor Cheryl Hanna, a constitutional expert: 802.831.1282,

CONTACT: John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations
Office: 802.831.1106, cell: 540.798.7099, home: 802.649.2235,

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