NDCAP: 12/10 Meeting on 3 Draft Advisory Opinions

At the November Nuclear Decommissioning Citizen Advisory Panel (NDCAP) meeting, the panel passed an Advisory Opinion on the role of host communities in decommissioning: NDCAP Advisory Opinion – Engaging Host Communities – Adopted 11.12.15

Three more draft advisory opinions will be under discussion at the next NDCAP meeting December 10 [6pm, Brattleboro Area Middle School Multi-Purpose Room, 109 Sunny Acres Drive, Brattleboro, VT. (Sunny Acres Dr. is on the right just before the High School).

The more citizens at the meeting commenting the better! At a minimum, please email comments to mailto:PSD.NDCAP@vermont.gov

  1. We support the draft opinion addressing the re-location of the dry cask storage pad which will house 900+ tons of radioactive waste.   PDF of the  Advisory Opinion -DRAFT ISFSI-CPG – Submitted 10.15.15(1)

Here’s our take: Entergy proposes to build the second pad next to the existing pad. Both are within the “protected area” (near the reactor building).  Entergy’s plans are based on the false hope that the Dept of Energy will take the radioactive waste away by 2052, before it starts taking down the reactor building. Looking at the long history of Yucca Mtn. and other proposals for long term storage, there is no reason to believe Congress, the NRC, DOE and all the other players will find a site or sites, pass a law, enable regulations, build the facility, and license it —  by 2052.

We support the position of the Windham Regional Commission (WRC), which wants the PSB to make Entergy build the new pad further away from the reactor, in case the waste still there when the time comes for decommissioning the reactor. This Advisory Opinion also supports finding a location on site but far enough away from the reactor building such that it will be able to be decommissioned even if the DOE does not remove the waste in time.

VT’s NDCAP joined community advisory boards in MA, Maine and CT  which wrote “to federal lawmakers, urging approval of an interim, centralized storage facility so that nuclear waste won’t be stashed long-term at four shuttered plants – Vermont Yankee, Maine Yankee, Connecticut Yankee and Yankee Rowe.” [VtDigger 11.27.15]

2. We support continued funding of the emergency response plan. Advisory Opinion – DRAFT RERP – Submitted 10.15.15

This opinion was drafted by Dr. Bill Irwin of the VT Dept. of Health. It recommends funding emergency response planning for the state and towns as appropriate for the levels of risk at the different stages of decommissioning. Which makes a lot of sense to us. The level of risk which radioactive fuel is being moved from the fuel pool is different from the risk while it is stored in dry casks. The level of risk during so-called SAFSTOR (moth ball period) is different from the risk we will face when the radioactive buildings and the soil below are being decontaminated.

Currently, the NRC and Entergy operate under the delusion that any radioactive releases – whether in air, water or in the earth – will stop at the boundary of the site. Such wishful thinking does not protect the school 1500 feet from the site, nor those of us living downwind.

3. Groundwater monitoring. To be honest, your loyal scribe could not understand the 7-page proposal. At November’s NDCAP meeting we learned that it was written by Entergy staff. Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel Advisory Opinion – Groundwater Monitoring Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel Advisory Opinion – Groundwater Monitoring

After the November NDCAP meeting, Dr. Irwin drafted a counter proposal. DRAFT – NDCAP Groundwater Advisory Opinion Counter-Proposal – Submitted 11.23.15 (Bill Irwin)

We support Dr Irwin’s counter-proposal, that the Dept of Health be funded to monitor groundwater. In the past, VT Dept of Health found tritium and/or strontium 90 in the groundwater when Yankee staff did not report finding any. “Split samples” we take to mean that both VY and the Dept of Health analyze the same samples/

“The citizens of Vermont have relied on the independent VDH laboratory analysis of split samples from the VY site and its surrounding public environment which have been published for more than forty years. This independence and ease of access to data is a cornerstone of Vermont’s public health system and it provides Vermonters greater confidence that their land, water, air and health are fully protected.”

The NDCAP subcommittee on issues to take on as future advisory opinions will be meeting Friday, December 4th, 2015 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM at the Windham Regional Commission (WRC), 139 Main Street, Brattleboro, Vermont. The meeting will be held in the WRC conference room. Like all NDCAP meetings, it will be open to the public. Remote access locations are listed on the NDCAP webage. http://publicservice.vermont.gov/topics/electric/nuclear#NDCAP

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