The NRC & You


Our speakers are not available again before the NRC Public Meeting on Feb. 19. We may be able to reschedule for the last week of February, which would be too late for the NRC Public Meeting on February 19 but before the end of the public comment period on March 23.

How Can Citizens Hold Entergy Accountable for Cleaning Up VT Yankee?

WHEN: February 9th 6:00-8:30 PM. Free.

WHAT: Educational forum with Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds and Deb Katz of the Citizens Awareness Network to address Entergy’s cleanup of Vermont Yankee. Presentations, Q&A and discussion about Entergy’s decommissioning plan and what role citizens can play in the process. Prepare for the NRC Public Meeting on February 19 (6pm, Quality Inn, Brattleboro).

WHERE: Marlboro College, Room 2East, 28 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT

Small Feb 9 WkshopBACKGROUND:

With the closure of Vermont Yankee, questions remain concerning safety and the responsible cleanup of the highly contaminated site. How Entergy will address VY’s closure, emergency planning, loss of institutional memory with the firing of 1/3 of the skilled workforce as well as dry cask storage and fuel transfer? How will cleanup affect the local community as well as the state and even the region? Decommissioning issues are more significant than ever.

Vermont Yankee’s power has already been replaced. But questions remain. Can citizens play a role as Vermont Yankee is properly dismantled, cleaned-up and radioactive waste safely stored? With the slow motion Fukushima disaster highlighting the vulnerabilities of Mark 1 reactors, how will the state deal with the increased vulnerability of this aged reactor?

The Citizens Awareness Network and the Safe and Green Campaign are sponsoring a forum to discuss the issues surrounding the decommissioning, clean up and accountability of Vermont Yankee. CAN has been intimately involved with closure and decommissioning of reactors in New England. “Nowhere is the colossal failure of nuclear power more evident than in decommissioning with its extensive contamination, ballooning costs, limited oversight, and lack of solutions for its contaminated wastes,” said Deb Katz executive director of the CAN. “Added to this is the inability to trust a systemically mismanaged corporation.”

The choice to hold the forums was based on a lack of relevant information on what decommissioning entails, what choices Entergy is making and what has been the industry standard on decommissioning until now. “The decommissioning of the Entergy Vermont Nuclear Power Plant will be one of the most significant undertakings in Vermont’s history,” said Leslie Sullivan Sachs. “The NRC public hearing on Entergy’s decommissioning plan on February 19 is a rare opportunity for citizens to make their voices heard. Through this forum we hope to be able to encourage informed citizen participation designed to protect Vermonter’s interest, as opposed to the interests of Entergy’s stockholders.”

About the Speakers

arnie-gundersenArnie Gundersen is chief engineer for Fairewinds Energy Education. He has more than 40-years of nuclear power engineering experience. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he earned his Bachelor Degree cum laude while also becoming the recipient of a prestigious Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship for his Master Degree in nuclear engineering. Arnie holds a nuclear safety patent, was a licensed reactor operator, and is a former nuclear industry senior vice president. During his nuclear power industry career, Arnie also managed and coordinated projects at 70-nuclear power plants in the US. In 1981-82, he was invited to co-author the first DOE Decommissioning Handbook. Arnie is the co-author with his wife, Maggie Gundersen, of many reports on Vermont Yankee. He has testified on Vermont Yankee to the state legislature and in 2008 was appointed to the Vermont Yankee Public Oversight Panel.

Deb KatzDeb Katz and the Citizens Awareness Network, instrumental in the closures of Yankee Rowe, Ct Yankee and Millstone Unit 1 reactors, intervened in the NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board hearings on Yankee Rowe and Ct Yankee reactors. CAN won a lawsuit against the NRC in the first circuit Appellate Court over the illegal decommissioning of the Yankee Rowe reactor, the violation of citizen hearing rights and EPA regulations; Represented nuclear worker’s health and safety interests before an NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board; participated in an NRC – Site Specific Advisory Boards for Decommissioning workshop, presented a model for public participation; Organized a “Peoples’ Hearing” on Decommissioning Presenters included representatives from Union of Concerned Scientists, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, and Radioactive Waste Management Assoc; Organized Caravan of Conscience Tours to accompany waste shipments from Yankee Rowe And Ct Yankee to Barnwell, SC to high light issues of environmental racism and to alert transport communities about the shipments. CAN commissioned a seminal paper by Dr. Gordon on the vulnerability of reactor fuel pools to terrorism in a post 9/11 world that focused on Vermont Yankee and Indian Point.


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