What follows is a summary of our thoughts as we prepare for the Public Service Board public hearing on April 6 (6pm, Vernon Elementary School, Vernon VT).
For more on our thoughts and to read our Principles for Decommissioning, go to our VY Closure & Decomm Issues page. We share them with you in the hopes that you will prepare and deliver your own comments to the Public Service Board.
The proposed sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar Group Services LLC is the first of its kind. Never before has an owner sold a reactor after shutdown and before decommissioning. Vermont Yankee will be the testing ground for NorthStar LLC to market itself to the US nuclear industry as a firm that can make decommissioning profitable.
The Safe and Green Campaign neither supports nor opposes the proposed sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar LLC. Rather, Safe and Green supports the best deal for our region, the United States, and the planet.
The best deal would be one that is presented with full transparency to the public in language we can understand. It would include enforceable assurances that:
- The site standards will be the best that can be accomplished for public health and the environment, not to fit a budget projected by NorthStar.
- The storage of the highly radioactive spent fuel will allow for ongoing, long-term monitoring of radiation levels, using the best available casks, contained in a building or bermed with soil, and strongly guarded against attack.
- The high-level waste will be not transported anywhere on our poorly maintained roads and railways until the US creates permanent, safe, long-term storage.
- The Public Service Board will conduct “extreme vetting” of NorthStar’s finances and the nature of its relationship with its decommissioning team, and that Vermont taxpayers will be shielded from the costs of any poor decisions made.
- NorthStar and its team will be strictly monitored during decommissioning by an independent entity, not only the NRC.
Prompt decommissioning gives us the opportunity to act as the stewards of the radioactive materials created at Vermont Yankee, rather than passing the financial, environmental, and public health burdens on to our children and grandchildren. Ethically, this is the right time. Now, we need to ensure we hire the right people to do the job.