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ACT NO. 74


Conservation; spent fuel storage

This act authorizes the owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station to go before the public service board to seek permission for temporary storage of spent nuclear fuel at the site. The act requires that no new facility be established without a certificate of public good from the public service board under 30 V.S.A. § 248, and provides that issuance of such a certificate shall require prior board findings: that adequate financial assurance exists for the management of spent fuel through decommissioning and for as long as it is located in the state; that the applicant will remove all spent fuel to a federally certified long-term facility in a timely and efficient manner; and that the applicant is in substantial compliance with any memoranda of understanding between the state and the applicant. The act provides that any certificate shall permit storage only of spent fuel derived from the operation of Vermont Yankee and not from any other source. It requires that any certificate will limit the cumulative total amount of fuel stored to the amount derived from the operation of the facility up to but not beyond March 21, 2012, the end of the current operating license. It provides that compliance with the act constitutes compliance with the provisions of 10 V.S.A. chapter 157, but only to the extent specified in or authorized under the act. State agencies may receive and act on applications for such a facility, actions prohibited under chapter 157 in the absence of legislative approval, provided that any state agency approval applies only to the extent authorized under the act. Storage of spent fuel derived from the operation of Vermont Yankee after March 21, 2012 requires the prior approval of the general assembly, and generation beyond that date requires a prior certificate of public good from the public service board.

The act also creates a Vermont clean energy development fund to consist of the proceeds of two memoranda of understanding entered between the state and two Entergy companies, and other monies that may be appropriated to the fund. Balances in the fund shall be held for the benefit of ratepayers and shall not be used for the general obligations of government. The purposes of the fund are to promote the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources, primarily with respect to renewable energy resources and combined heat and power technologies. The act states that it is intended that all reasonably available cost-effective energy efficiency measures will be pursued under existing authority in Title 30. The fund is to be managed by the department of public service, with an annual report detailing expenditures, recommending principles to be followed in the allocation of funds, and proposing a five-year plan for future expendi tures from the fund. Projects for funding may include: projects that will sell power in commercial quantities, especially to Vermont utilities and on favorable terms; projects to benefit publicly owned or leased buildings; renewable energy projects on farms; small scale renewable energy in Vermont residences and buildings; and effective projects that are not likely to be established in the absence of funding. If during a particular year, the department determines that there is a lack of high value projects eligible for funding, the department may consult with the board and shall considering transferring funds to an energy efficiency fund established under 30 V.S.A. § 209(d), a transfer that may take place only in response to an opportunity for a particularly cost-effective investment in energy efficiency and only as a temporary supplement to funds collected under that subsection, not as replacement funding.

The act requires the department of public service to report to legislative committees by January 15, 2006 with respect to how best to implement the fund, including draft legislation, if necessary; a plan for allocations from the fund; and proposed rules to manage expenditures from the fund.

Effective Date: July 1, 2005

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont