NRC nominee blocked over lawsuit on Vermont Yankee

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Associated Press

Posted on June 27, 2011 at 6:04 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) says he is blocking Senate confirmation of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission nominee because the agency asked the Department of Justice to intervene in a lawsuit between the state of Vermont and the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which the state wants closed.

Sanders says he has placed a hold on the nomination of NRC nominee William Ostendorff.

He said the NRC "voted secretly" two weeks ago to recommend that the Justice Department become involved in a lawsuit between Vermont and Entergy, Vermont Yankee's owner. "What the NRC did demonstrates poor judgment," he said.

Sanders said last year the Vermont state Senate voted 26-4 not to extend the license of Vermont Yankee. The power plant's initial 40-year license expires next March.

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