Hodes Unveils New Plan For Shutdown Of Vermont Yankee
Today, as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) holds an open meeting with members of the public, Paul Hodes announced a new plan for the closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. On the day of the public nuclear forum demanded by Hodes, this new plan would have the NRC's already scheduled safety shut down of Vermont Yankee continue until all radioactive leaks at the plant are found and fixed.
"Entergy's appalling record at Vermont Yankee forces us to go beyond standard operating procedure when it comes to safety inspections," said Hodes. "The reactor will be routinely shut down for security checks in just a few days time, why on earth would we be planning to turn it back on until all safety concerns have been addressed? My plan would give families along both sides of the Connecticut River the accountability over these ongoing radioactive leaks that they deserve."
In just days, the NRC will be closing Vermont Yankee to do scheduled maintenance and safety checks. The Hodes plan requires the NRC to keep the reactors shut down until a safety checklist can be completed and all radioactive leaks at the plant are found and fixed. This new plan comes on the day that NRC officials will be taking questions from local residents in a public forum that was requested by Hodes.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Chairman Jaczko:
I am writing to ask you to not allow the Vermont Yankee power plant to restart after its scheduled outage until all environmental remediation work and relevant reports on leaking tritium at the plant have been completed.
As you know, the tritium leak at Vermont Yankee, originally reported in January 2010, has necessitated multiple environmental remediation efforts that are currently underway, as well as official reviews of both the cause of the leak and the accuracy of information reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Vermont Yankee systems.
I appreciate the steps the Commission has taken in recent weeks to increase its role in overseeing the response to this leak, and ask that the plant not be allowed to start up again this spring until my constituents are assured that the cause of the leak has been safely and completely addressed. With the plant already scheduled to shut down and several additional safety checks planned, it would be irresponsible to restart operations before the Commission can verify to the public that the tritium leak has been fixed and environmental cleanup is complete.
Given the number of pending actions in response to this incident, I urge you to prevent the plant from resuming power production after its scheduled refueling outage until the following efforts have been completed to the Commission's satisfaction:
· The tritiated groundwater remediation process that is currently underway;
· The soil remediation process scheduled to take place during the refueling outage, to remove soil containing not only tritium, but also radioactive isotopes of cesium, manganese, zinc and cobalt;
· The ongoing Root Cause Analysis being performed by Entergy under the oversight of the Commission;
· The Commission's review of the documents presented as a result of its Demand For Information, submitted to Entergy on March 1, 2010.
My constituents in New Hampshire, many of whom live or work within Vermont Yankee's Emergency Planning Zone, deserve to know that this leak has been safely and completely addressed before operations at the plant restart again.
I appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to your response.