Rad Waste Advisory

Who will pay if the Dept of Energy hasn’t taken away the highly radioactive waste in 68 100+ ton storage containers when it is time to take down the buildings? Some folks who sit on the Nuclear  Decommissioning Citizen Advisory Panel (NDCAP) want assurance from Entergy that the company (or any subsequent owners) — not Vermont taxpayers — will pay for any delay in decommissioning the site. You can imagine what Entergy thinks of that.

onedaysonallthiswillbeyoursTwo Advisory Opinion have been drafted by an NDCAP subcommittee.   Only a few lines in each is different; the emphasis in italics is mine. Draft A reads:

 In the event the presence of the DFS casks will cause an undue delay in the demolition of the reactor building and/or structures, ENVY or any subsequent owner will commit to remedying the delay in a manner that does not encumber the decommissioning trust or site restoration funds, and which will not burden taxpayers beyond recoverable costs from the U. S. Department of Energy.

Draft B, reads:

Under NRC regulations, in the event the presence of the DFS casks will cause an undue delay in the demolition of the Reactor Building and/or structures, ENVY, or any subsequent owner of the property, will be required to update the PSDAR and DCE as well, if there are resulting significant increases in costs. ENVY or any subsequent owner of the property will be responsible for providing any additional funds needed to maintain the site consistent with applicable regulations in effect at the time, including, for example, funds or damages recovered from the U.S. Department of Energy.

We see two main points

  1. Since the Dept. of Energy (DOE) has failed in this effort after 75 years of nuclear waste being created, forgive us if we are skeptical about its potential for success. There is no place for DOE  to put the waste, currently. It is searching the US for communities that will offer their “consent” to  host a site. Even if a community agrees, it will take time to work its way through the legal and regulatory structures — especially if there is local opposition. Then the site design would have to be approved, etc etc etc — then built.
  2. If Entergy is so convinced that it can decommission the entire reactor site safely without the 68 dry casks getting in the way, why is it spending time fighting this purely Advisory opinion from a panel of mostly just plain folks?

The main purpose of the Opinion is to advise the Public Service Board, as that three-person state regulator considers the issue of a new storage pad for the waste. The Board has a history of permitting a project but adding conditions to the permit.

The full panel will meet on Thursday, February 25 at 6pm in the Multi-Purpose room of Brattleboro Union High School. This topic is on the agenda at 6:55 pm. You can read the Drafts and download the Agenda here on NDCAP’s new website: http://publicservice.vermont.gov/electric/ndcap

Public comments on the drafts can be emailed: PSD.NDCAP@vermont.gov

This entry was posted in Decommissioning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.