Statement of VPIRG Director Paul Burns concerning Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute Entergy for perjury.
Montpelier, VT – “It’s been VPIRG’s position from the beginning that there were two possible explanations why multiple officials from Entergy failed to tell the truth about the existence of underground pipes carrying radioactive material at Vermont Yankee.
The first was that the Entergy officials were on several occasions deliberately committing criminal acts of perjury. The Attorney General has completed an exhaustive review and has not found sufficient evidence to prosecute this charge. We’re in no position to challenge that decision by the Attorney General, but given the other explanation, we’re not comforted by it either.
The second possible explanation for Entergy’s failure to tell the truth was that officials at all levels were so breathtakingly incompetent that they were utterly unaware of important design aspects of the nuclear facility, including the existence of faulty pipes carrying radioactive material.
The Attorney General’s decision today may come as good news to Entergy officials who were in danger of being criminally charged, but it’s hardly good news to the tens of thousands of Vermonters who count on that facility to be run by a company that is both competent and reliable. The fact that Entergy is neither reliable nor trustworthy due to its employees’ ignorance is no more comforting than if the officials had intentionally lied under oath.
The bottom line is that it’s a sad day for Vermont when the company that runs our state’s only nuclear plant gets to breathe a sigh of relief at being found to be monumentally incompetent as opposed to criminally liable.”