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State of Vermont makes its case against Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee at 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

Bill Sorrell and David Frederick answer questions from the press in front of the Thurgood Marshall Federal Court House, Foley Square, Manhattan. Photo by Ricard Watts. (Chris Williams of CAN and VYDA is visible, back right)The fate of the State of Vermont's long struggle to shutdown Entergy Nuclear's Vermont Yankee atomic reactor now rests in the hands of a three-judge panel at the 2nd Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Manhattan. Yesterday, oral arguments were heard regarding Entergy v. Shumlin et al. Vermont is seeking to overturn a Brattleboro lower court judge's ruling a year ago that state laws had improperly strayed into radiological safety matters, the sole jurisdiction of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as settled by the 1983 PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In addition to a large turn out of journalists from Vermont and beyond, a number of long-time Vermont Yankee opponents sent representatives to witness the proceeding, including Beyond Nuclear, Conservation Law Foundation, Citizen Awareness Network (CAN), Physicians for Social Responsibility, Shut It Down! affinity group, Solar Rollers, and Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance (VYDA). By most accounts, the State of Vermont --represented by Attorney General William Sorrell, and David Frederick of the Washington, D.C. law firm Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C. (see photo) -- more than held its own.

Richard Watts (who took the photo above), author of Public Meltdown: The Story of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, covered the oral arguments on his blogThe Vermont Digger reported on this story, including a link to the audio of the full 37 minute long oral arguments. Vermont Public Radio filed two stories: "At Stake in Yankee Appeal: State's Rights and a Big Legal Bill," and "Appeals Judges Focus on 'Legislative Intent' in Yankee Case." The Associated Press, Burlington Free Press, Brattleboro Reformer, and Bloomberg have also reported on this story.