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Vermont Yankee nuke plant to close by end of 2014 via AP

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – Vermont’s only nuclear power plant will shut down by the end of next year, ending a nasty legal battle over the future of the 4-decade-old plant, Entergy Corp. announced Tuesday.

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station is expected to cease power production after its current fuel cycle and will begin being decommissioned in the fourth quarter of 2014, the company said. The station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission throughout the decommissioning process.

The New Orleans-based company has been battling with the state since 2010, when the Vermont Senate voted against a measure that would have authorized a state board to grant Vermont Yankee a permit to operate for an additional 20 years. Lawmakers were concerned about the plant’s safety, age and misstatements by plant management about components at the reactor.

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a statement released by spokesman Neil Sheehan that the federal agency would “continue its rigorous oversight of the plant through the rest of its operations and into and through decommissioning. We have a decommissioning process that the details steps that would have to be taken by Entergy going forward.”

The decision to close Vermont Yankee was based on a number of financial factors, including low wholesale energy prices, high costs and what the company called a flawed market design that artificially deflates energy prices.

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