NDCAP Meeting 11.12.15

November 12, 2015 – 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Vernon Elementary School Cafeteria, 381 Governor Hunt Road, Vernon, VT

Most of the citizen members of the Citizen Advisory Panel have met as a subcommittee and drafted Advisory Opinions to present to the State. The following DRAFT Advisory Opinions will be discussed at this meeting:

  1. Engaging Host Communities (First Draft)The NRC is writing rules for decommissioning, since there essentially are none. The NRC listens to the Nuclear Energy Institute and the industry that pays 80% of its budget through fees. The NRC doesn’t listen to communities or state governments that host reactors. This opinions suggests three ways to “effectively and substantively” engage with the NRC to make our voices heard.

    Bravo … and perhaps a definition of “host communities” should be included in the Opinion so that it is clearly a regional or EPZ approach.

  2.   Continued Funding for Radiological Emergency Response Plan (First Draft)

There are three periods of decommissioning: preparing for Safstor and moving the radioactive fuel from the fuel pool into dry cask storage; dormancy; decontamination. This Draft Opinion wants Emergency Response funds appropriate to each period based on the risks of that phase, not abandoning all of us in the Emergency Planning Zone, and ending rapid response. Moving fuel, and decontaminating the reactor building, are high risk times.

We agree … and this Draft should be edited; at four pages, it is simply too long. This Draft Advisory Opinion refers to “the owner” of Yankee’s license — Entergy is not named, which is interesting. This could be prudent caution by the writer; if Entergy bails and Yankee changes hands, this Opinion would still apply. 

3.  Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Plan (First Draft)

Highly radioactive fuel will be moved into dry casks which will sit on two storage pads. One pad is built and in use; Entergy has a plan, and has applied for permission from the Public Service Board to build the second pad. The Opinion argues that the pad needs to be located further away from the reactor building.

Entergy’s plan is based on the belief that the US Dept. of Energy will remove all the dry casks by 2052. This Draft Advisory Opinion recommends locating the pad further from the reactor building. If the casks are still there after 2052, having the pads so close to the reactor will make it difficult or impossible to decommission the reactor building. (We don’t understand why this opinion suggests a 3rd pad as an option; seems to muddy the waters).

We agree. Entergy is either trying to pull a fast one, or is dreaming, if it thinks a federal solution for nuclear waste will be decided and passed into law, that a location will be found and approved, that regulations will be written & approved, and that a facility/facilities will be built and licensed, and then all of Yankees dry casks removed by 2052.

4. Vermont Department of Health Groundwater Monitoring through License

Termination (First Draft)

Groundwater monitoring should be a “joint and collaborative effort between the licensee, Entergy Vermont Yankee, LLC, and the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) as opposed to the redundant, resource intensive and inconsistent programs currently in effect.”

Sounds good and your faithful scribe does not have the scientific or technical chops to wade through and comment on the rest of this Opinion. Hopefully activists who are comfortable with this arena will comment.

Please read the above opinions and ask questions, critique and/or show your support for the Opinions at this meeting. Also on the Agenda: an update from Entergy on the announced closures of Fitzpatrick and Pilgrim.

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