A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that the state's only nuclear plant should not stay open while a lawsuit about its long-term future plays out.
Vermont is moving to shut down Vermont Yankee. Both the governor and the state Senate are on record as wanting it to close when its initial 40-year license expires in March.
The plant's owner, New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., got a 20-year license extension from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It argues in a lawsuit that the federal action preempts the state's.
Last month, Entergy went to court asking for a preliminary order allowing it to stay open while the underlying lawsuit works its way through the courts — possibly all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Monday, Judge J. Garvan Murtha denied that request.
An Entergy spokesman says the company is disappointed by the judge's ruling and evaluating its near-term options.
Both sides will be back in federal court in September.
With additional reporting from the WBUR Newsroom
This program aired on July 18, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.