The Vermont Yankee (VY) nuclear power plant has been met with local resistance since its opening in 1972 by Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation, which increased significantly towards the end of its tenure. In 2012, VY’s 40-year license was set to expire. Just prior to this in August 2007, one of the towers that cooled non-radioactive water prior to releasing it into the Connecticut River collapsed due to rotting lumber and corroded bolts, spewing thousands of gallons of water from a pipe nearly 6 feet into the air. The event caused a public outcry about the reliability of the power station, and governor Jim Douglas appointed a panel to oversee independent review of the plant. Concurrently, activists engaged in direct action with legislators in order to pass Act 160, which would permit the legislature to determine whether Vermont Yankee should or should not be relicensed. Vermonters, in turn became galvanized behind a grassroots campaign to produce this shift in the legislature. January 2009 and 2010, activists walked 126 miles from Brattleboro to Montpellier Vermont in an effort to support Vermont legislators in their vote to reject Vermont Yankee’s future operations. Also in 2009, Vermont’s oversight panel discovered radioactive contamination in underground pipes, a discovery that directly contradicted the statements of VY’s vice president about the same pipes, enhancing distrust amongst community members and the state government. In January 2010, tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen was discovered in the ground water at a concentration of 20,000 picocuries of tritium per liter, which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s stated limit for drinking water. In February 2010, a monitoring well on the plant’s reactor site was dug, finding 775,000 picocuries per liter or 37 times the federal limit, leaking from an off-steam pipe.