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Attorney General Announces Results Of Vermont Yankee Criminal Investigation

CONTACT: William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, (802) 828-3173

July 6, 2011

Attorney General William Sorrell announced today that, barring the receipt of additional evidence, his office has completed its criminal investigation and neither Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee (ENVY) nor any of its current or past employees will be charged with having committed perjury when state officials and others were repeatedly misled about the existence of underground piping carrying radionuclides.

During January of 2010, discovery of a tritium leak at its plant in Vernon prompted ENVY to inform state officials that during sworn testimony and through other communications in 2008 and 2009, it had provided incorrect information when it denied the existence of underground piping carrying radioactive materials. Then-Governor Jim Douglas, then-President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin and Speaker Shap Smith requested the Attorney General to investigate and determine whether in providing this incorrect information, ENVY or its personnel had violated Vermont’s criminal laws.

After a lengthy investigation, including the conducting of dozens of interviews and reviewing tens of thousands of pages of documents, the Attorney General announced that his office lacks sufficient probative evidence to prove perjury beyond a reasonable doubt. “Clearly, Vermont Yankee personnel repeatedly failed to meet a minimally acceptable standard of credibility and trustworthiness, but proving that perjury took place is another matter entirely. We lack the smoking gun necessary to prove the crime and it would be unethical and irresponsible for us to press criminal charges when we do not have the evidence to meet our heavy burden of proof,” said the Attorney General.

The decision was announced today at a Montpelier press conference. A report summarizing some of the evidence reviewed and aspects of the applicable law was released.

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