No charges against Vermont nuke plant officials

Posted July 06, 2011, at 3:42 p.m.

MONTPELIER, Vt. — State prosecutors have decided not to charge Entergy Corp. executives with lying to regulators about the presence of underground piping at its Vermont nuclear power plant, saying the executives showed themselves to be untrustworthy but not criminally liable.

Attorney General William Sorrell said a 17-month investigation into testimony that Entergy executives had given to the state Public Service Board concluded that there was no “smoking gun” to show they had committed perjury.

The executives had told the board that the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant didn’t have underground piping that might leak radioactive substances. The pipes were found later not only to exist, but to be leaking tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen that can cause cancer when ingested in large amounts.

Company officials later announced they had misled state officials in their statements, but said they had not done so intentionally.

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