Vt. judge denies bid to keep nuke plant open

July 18, 2011 - 3:59 PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that the state's only nuclear plant should not stay open while a lawsuit about its long-term future plays out.

Vermont is moving to shut down Vermont Yankee. Both the governor and the state Senate are on record as wanting it to close when its initial 40-year license expires in March.

The plant's owner, New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., got a 20-year license extension from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It argues in a lawsuit that the federal action pre-empts the state's.

Last month, Entergy went to court asking for a preliminary order allowing it to stay open while the underlying lawsuit works its way through the courts — possibly all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Monday, Judge J. Garvan Murtha denied that request.