Monday, July 14, 2008

Entergy Vermont Yankee reactor cut to 23 pct power

NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) - Entergy Corp's (ETR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) 620-megawatt Vermont Yankee nuclear power station in Vermont dipped to 23 percent power by early Monday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a report.

On Friday, the unit was operating at full power.

Vermont Yankee, which entered service in 1972, is located in Vernon in Windham County, about 80 miles north of Hartford, Connecticut.

In January 2006, Entergy filed for a 20-year extension of the unit's original 40-year operating license. The company provided the NRC with additional information in August 2007.

It usually takes the NRC about 22 months (November 2007) to make a decision on a license renewal without a hearing and about 30 months (July 2008) with a hearing.

The NRC however has said it will likely take more time to make a decision due to the filing of the additional information.

During week of July 21, the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) will hold a hearing on three contentions concerning metal fatigue and the aging of the steam dryer and piping if the reactor.

One MW powers about 1,000 homes in Vermont.

Entergy, of New Orleans, owns and operates about 30,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and distributes power to 2.7 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by John Picinich)

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