Vermont state regulators have approved the sale of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to a demolition company.
The Vermont Public Utility Commission issued a written statement Thursday saying the primary benefit of the sale to NorthStar is the company plans to start decommissioning the plant no later than 2021, decades sooner than the current owner Entergy Corporation planned.
"We are satisfied that approving the transfer and moving forward with the accelerated cleanup schedule for the Vermont Yankee site is in the best interests of the people of Vernon and the State of Vermont," said PUC Commissioner Margaret Cheney in a written statement.
NorthStar CEO Scott State told Vermont Public Radio that the timetable for decommissioning was a big factor in winning regulatory approval.
"I think we brought the certainty of decommissioning and obviously we accelerated the schedule some decades," he said, thanking the commission for the decision and state agencies and others who participated in the process.
An attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation criticized the deal.
"We are disappointed that Vermont communities will be saddled with a risky transfer of the contaminated Vermont Yankee site," said Sandra Levine in a prepared statement. "The transfer of the site fails to provide common sense protections for local families and businesses, and it will leave Vermonters on the hook if something goes wrong."
Vermont Yankee closed in 2014 after operating for 42 years.