The Vermont Public Service Board issued a certificate of public good Friday allowing the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to operate through the end of the year. In exchange, the Louisiana-based company will make payments to the state for economic development, renewable energy projects and a special fund reserved for tearing down the 42-year-old plant in Vernon, according to an agreement reached with the state in late December.
The company in December said it would close the plant in 2014 for financial reasons. State officials worked with Entergy to iron out a memorandum of understanding to ensure a smooth closure in spite of the company's rocky relationship with the state.
Gov. Peter Shumlin said in a statement Friday that he supports the decision.
The certificate requires Entergy to make payments to the state for economic development in Windham County, renewable energy development and a site restoration fund. It also settles all pending federal lawsuits and legal fees.
Critics of the agreement said it does not guarantee the plant will have enough money reserved to fully deconstruct the plant in a timely manner. They also said that given Entergy's history of misleading state officials, the permit should have been denied.
The New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution indicated it might continue its legal battle over the decision.