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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Aug 28, 2013 6:06 PM Flag

    Dems see closure of Vermont nuclear plant as chance to develop green options

    Dems see closure of Vermont nuclear plant as chance to develop green options

    Pete Kasperowicz - 08/28/13 03:03 PM ET

    New England Democrats this week cheered the closure of one of the country's oldest nuclear plants in Vermont as an opportunity to develop green energy technologies.

    The owner of the Vermont Yankee said Tuesday that it would close down the power plant because it is too hard to compete with electricity generated by cheap natural gas. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said this gives his state a chance to explore safer power options.

    "Now is the time for Vermonters to refocus our attention on increasing our energy efficiency and bringing online alternative clean and renewable energy sources," he said Tuesday. "This is added impetus for offsetting as much of Vermont Yankee's capacity as possible through those better, cleaner and sustainable alternatives."

    Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said closing the plant shows that non-nuclear options are not only safer, but more affordable.

    "Closing Vermont Yankee reflects the growing realization in New England and around the nation that it is time to move towards a safer, more affordable clean energy future of wind, solar, geothermal, along with well-regulated, domestic natural gas," he said. "While nuclear energy was once advertised as being too cheap to meter, it is increasingly clear that it is actually too expensive to matter."

    But while they welcomed the decision to close the plant, which will happen by 2014, Democrats said the state must ensure the plant is closed safely.

    "Every precaution must be taken to insure public and worker safety during the decommissioning, and to insure that we do not leave a public safety nightmare for future generations of Vermonters," Leahy said. He added that the full cost of decommissioning the plant should be paid for by the owners, not the state or federal governments.

    Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Vermont's only Representative in the House, agreed with the need for steps to ensur

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