Yes! Our Senators are Acting

UPDATE: May 14 Congressional hearing on decommissioning nuclear reactors – watch the full hearing on the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works here. [Note it begins at 0:15:50]. VTDigger and Rutland Herald covered the hearing. VT Dept of Public Service Chris Recchia testified (pdf here). “We were hamstrung in the ability to negotiate (with Entergy) … there were things we weren’t able to agree on, things NRC has allowed,” he said. “Vermont was not well-served by the NRC’s past decisions and current approach. We negotiated with our hands tied behind our backs.” There is also good testimony from the City of Del Mar, CA which hosts San Onofre reactors, on high burn up fuel and dry casks, and from NRDC. The hearing and testimony covered not only the lack of local participation in decommissioning reactors, but moving spent fuel in a timely manner and emergency planning post-closure. Read on for three bills put before Congress by Senators Sanders, Markey & Boxer to deal with these issues.

5.13.14 post: US Senators Bernie Sanders & Ed Markey have been listening to you. They are co-sponsoring two bills: one which gives local communities and states more input into decommissioning; the second requires moving spent fuel out of fuel pools and into secure storage within 7 years. US Rep. Peter Welch has introduced similar bills to the House.

Last January, Safe & Green members went to Washington and spoke with the energy staffers of the Mass. and Vermont House and Senate delegations. We told them that giving citizens and states a voice in decommissioning was our first priority, and second was moving and securing the spent fuel. Please write to the delegation and express your thanks for hearing citizens’ concerns. Ask you friends to do the same.

Sen. Markey has a description of the bills on his website here. Read Sen. Sanders’ thoughts on website here. Tomorrow (Wednesday May 14) the Senate oversight committee of the NRC will hold a hearing on decommissioning at 10 AM. You can watch at Commissioner of the VT Dept. of Public Service Chris Recchia will be testifying.

We also spoke with the staff about evacuation zones, and they deserve thanks for following up on that issue as well. Since our meeting, Entergy applied to the NRC for an exemption to EPZ coverage beyond it’s site, and Senators Markey and Sanders immediately called them out.

Please email or call today. The fight will be fierce as many in the House and Senate are pro-nuclear —  or are being pressured by the nuclear corporate lobbyists, the NEI, who will also testify tomorrow).

Senator Bernie Sanders (VT 802-862-0697 (on US Senate oversight committee for nuclear power)
Senator Ed Markey (MA) 202-224-2742 (on US Senate oversight committee for nuclear power)
Congressman Peter Welch (VT) 802-652-2450

Chris Recchia, Commissioner / VT Public Service Dept. / 112 State Street Third Floor, Montpelier, VT 05620-2601 /Phone: 802 828-4071

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