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After Decades of Protests, Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant to Close

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Entergy announced plans today to close and decommission the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, Vermont, by the end of 2014. The site has been the target of protests for decades. In 2010, the Vermont Senate voted against a measure that would have authorized a state board to grant Vermont Yankee a permit to operate for an additional 20 years.

The plant has been the site of scores of anti-nuclear protests since its opening in 1971. In April Ellen Graves, Hattie Nestel, and Frances Crowe were arrested Thursday for blocking the driveway at Entergy’s Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

In a statement the women said:

We are here today to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in keeping with the words of Gregory Jaczko, recent former chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Chairman Jaczko says, All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology. ... Continuing to put Band-Aid on Band-Aid is not going to fix the problem.

Inspired by Chairman Jaczko, we are here during the week commemorating the 50th anniversary of the letter from Birmingham jail, the statement of Martin Luther King, Jr. invoking the necessity of repeated resistance to the evils surrounding him.

Here are some highlights of past Democracy Now! coverage on Vermont Yankee:

As Radiation Continues to Leak from Japan Nuke Plant, Owners of Vermont Yankee Plant Sue to Stay Open [April 19, 2011]

Vermont Gov. Fights to Close Vermont Yankee, One of 23 U.S. Nuclear Power Facilities Nearly Identical to Failed Japanese Plant [March 15, 2011]

In Historic Vote, Vermont Poised to Shut Down Lone Nuclear Reactor [February 24, 2010]

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