Sen. Bernie Sanders Blocks William Ostendorff's NRC Nomination Over Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Lawsuit

06/28/2011 09:13 am ET | Updated Aug 28, 2011

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) says he is blocking Senate confirmation of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission nominee because the agency asked the Department of Justice to intervene in a lawsuit between the state of Vermont and the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which the state wants closed.

Sanders says he has placed a hold on the nomination of NRC nominee William Ostendorff.

He said the NRC "voted secretly" two weeks ago to recommend that the Justice Department become involved in a lawsuit between Vermont and Entergy, Vermont Yankee's owner. "What the NRC did demonstrates poor judgment," he said.

Sanders said last year the Vermont state Senate voted 26-4 not to extend the license of Vermont Yankee. The power plant's initial 40-year license expires next March.