NDCAP Meeting Notes 02.26.15

  • Resources

  • NDCAP February 26, 2015 at Marlboro Graduate Center, Brattleboro.  AGENDA download here.

    50 people in the audience at last count, about 35 of them citizen activists I recognized

    These are my personal notes. For the real deal, watch BCTV – All NDCAP videos are posted here.

     

    I. Future of NDCAP

    Kate O’Connor, citizen rep (first meeting as Chair).

    • Minutes amended and passed.
    • NDCAP could be improved based on feedback from the panel and the public. 4 areas:

    1) Communications: among the panelists between meetings, and with the public

    2) Issues – what, when, how

    3) Does the panel want to take positions?

    4) Resources to make the panel more effective.

    • Communications
      • One week after the panel meets, send an update
      • A NDCAP website for filings, expert testimony, newspaper articles, etc.
        • It would be a “neutral” site.
        • An NDCAP email address posted, for communication from public (limited ability to answer)
        • DPS & Entergy currently providing in-kind. DPS will give financial resources to put website in place. Entergy help set up tech to set up the website, but they will not maintain it. VT Dept of Public Service will provide filings.
        • Numersou suggestions from panel, general support for website, email. Derek Jordan: post expert reports & videos. Chris Campney suggested filings with synopsis in English.
        • Recchia: we can provide support that is reasonable. Anthony Leshinski only dedicated staff to NDCAP (while also trying to do job s nuclear engineer).
    • Issues: O’Connor ran through a dozen or so issues she had identified. The public may have more. Panelists added:
      • Timeline of decommissioning in detail – so we talk about things as they are relevent.
        • Public suggestions: EPZ, trust fund, future use of site, eco dev impacts, dry cask storage, second pad, how state coordinating its response, env issues, health impacts, utility vs merchant, others decommissioned
      • Chris Campney (WRC) suggested tour of Wiscasset & visit with Maine CAP, perhaps Rowe, MA CAP
      • Derrick Jordan (citizen rep): can we release some decomm $ earlier to clean up earlier? Need expert advice.
      • David Mears (ANR): what are the levels of clean up; process for panel to make recommendations to decision makers. He is frustrated with the NRC process; are there ways we can influence or change it.
      • Jim Matteau (citizen rep): NRC is dense. He has learned from Entergy & anti-nuclear activists. We need competent advice from “neutral” people, if they exist.
      • Molly Kelly (NH): Invited Jay Tarzia to speak about dry cask storage at March meeting; he spoke to NH meeting. Questions about who he is.
        • Irwin: went to school with Tarzia, who is now principal of a decommissioning company.
        • Discussion; maybe we can get others as well.
      • “Joint learning” – see page 4 of Charter
      • Subcommittee was formed to tackle Timeline and Issues.
      • Resources
        • VT Dept of Public Service will provide administrative support
        • Entergy will provide in-kind support
        • Resources Committee formed – Chris Campney & others
        • Find an intern from VLS or UVM or VTC for support?
        • Chris Recchia (DPS): See charter VII page 8: Financial. “Capacity to help” would like to get Antony back to being a nuclear engineer, not head of AV club.
        • Entergy staff will take minutes, which will then go to O’Connor & MartinLangeveld (citizen rep, vice-chair).
      • Entergy was asked a number of times when State would get answers to the questions it asked in PSDAR comments submitted December 19.
        • Chris Wamser (Entergy) said “tomorrow.”
    • Public comments & questions
      • Leyden Town Planning Commission wants EPZ kept in place
      • Leslie Sullivan Sachs:
        • NRC Decomm Rules (lack of) especially for merchant plants should be added as an issue
        • NRC is meeting with NEI (nuclear industry trade group) on March 5 to talk about decomm rules.
        • State needs to get specific about resources; NDCAP needs a ½ time staff person; NDCAP needs a budget.
      • Lisa Wienmann:
        • It hurts NDCAP’s credibility for Entergy to be taking the minutes.
        • Canadian CAPs are funded by federal government
        • EPZ: it is foolhardy to think we are safe as long as the fuel is in the fuel pool
        • There are a few neutral experts: National Academy of Science, Union of Concerned Scientists
      • Greenfield City Council member:
        • Town passed a resolution, unanimous, to keep EPZ and keep 15 minute warning. Upset that Entergy made change without seeking any input from towns. Greenfield Community College (GCC) is a disaster shelter.
        • NDCAP should consider economic impact of SAFSTOR vs DECON
        • Entergy should buy local
        • Hot topic is replace of energy – MA seeing significant impact on utility bills
        • Hold an NDCAP meeting in Greenfield. GCC has a satellite feed for Montpelier people. Only 20 minute further.
    • II. Update on Decommissioning Activities. Joe Lynch, Entergy Gov’t Affairs. 5 years at VY, 4 or 5 each at Maine and Rowe. Power point presentation here.
    • NRC inspectors were on site last week
    • March 23: PSDAR comment period ends.
      • PSDAR response to State questions tomorrow. A lot of the state comments were requests for due diligence
    • Selected decomm activities have begun – temporary buildings and others taken down to trim maintenance costs of no-longer needed facilities
      • Using some local suppliers and companies, including a local deli for new food service. Over $1 million on local decomm suppliers thus far.
    • Yankee is in compliance with Settlement Agreement
    • We are committed to open communication and transparency and do stakeholder outreach.
      • Panel Comments & Questions:
        • David Mears (ANR):
          • Entergy needs to be in compliance with NEPA (National Env. Protection Act) at this site, not a generic EIS (env. impact statement). There is nothing generic or routine about what happens at a nuclear waste site.
          • Entergy and Chris Recchia need to let ANR know when things happen
          • ANR will not be negotiating clean up without a full and open process.
        • Campney: what level of oversight & monitoring is necessary? Who pays for it?
        • Wamser: we sign off on everything and go thru the permit process. We are complying with all state laws and are not doing any shady business.
        • Irwin (DOH): State has oversight on asbestos. You took a building down without notifying us. A plan must be submitted in advance
          • Wamser: we did that

    III. Emergency Planning Zone: Mike McKenney, VY Emergency Preparedness Manager

    • Download power point here. To sum it up, lifting the EPZ is consistent with current regs and practice.
    • A “robust emergency plan remains in place commensurate with reduced risk of off-site release.”
    • The EPA says no Protective Action Guidelines (PAGs) Manual, “EPZs are not necessary at those facilities where it is not possible for PAGs to be exceeded off-site.”
    • From April 2016 to when all fuel is moved into dry casks, Yankee is a “permanently defueled” reactor with emergency action levels appropriate to that state. (Yes even though there is fuel in the fuel pool) .
    • VY is still under an operating license, even though it is not operating. Without any rules for decommissioning, exemptions are normal part of post-operating process.
    • Panel Comments and Questions:
      • Wamser: Entergy will not answer any questions on. “It is ridiculous for us to answer questions at this point” because of the State’s appeal.
      • Irwin: there should be an opportunity to hear the state’s concerns, not just Entergy’s presentation.
      • Recchia – I have no problem answering. We are talking in general terms, not about anything that should be protected.
        • It is an On / Off switch for the EPZ. It shrinks protection by too much.
        • There are two moving pieces.
          • EPZ: For the 10 miles EPZ, Entergy pays $4.5 million to the three states to implement emergency management and $100 million for Yankee on-site staffing and management
          • ERDS: Emergency Response Display System. Our concern is our ability to understand what is happening at the plant. If ERDS is discontinued we won’t know what is happening. There is an equivalent to ERDS available.
            • ASLB on ERDS: Denied on merits, now appealed by the State b/c one of three judges agree with us on process.
          • How do you monitor perimeters of the site?
          • There is still risk not adequately addressed as long as there is spent fuel in the pool.
          • In the absence of anyone willing to negotiate, we are going with the NRC process, which is ASLB at this point.
          • Campney: is there any way for towns to comment in process?
        • Recchia: NRC has no rules specific rules for decommissioning. After closing down, it is still under its operating license, as though it was still running. So Entergy has to ask for exemptions from operating rules, that’s why exemptions are required, and most we support.
          • State will intervene when the public is put at risk.
          • VT may be first in the nation to do it this way. MA & NH can be parties or can file their own. This is our first salvo, MA & NH were informed.
        • Irwin: When an exemption is granted, something is chopped out. So there is a big chunk taken out of the rules, but there is nothing put in to replace that chunk. And this is all being done without state or public input or comment or rule making.
          • It’s the on/off switch: either no EPZ, or 10 mile EPZ. We’re not picky about the 10 mile – something in between may be appropriate.
          • For example, after the fuel is moved from the pool to dry casks, it becomes a matter of environmental surveillance. Under SAFSTOR at other sites, radionuclides have migrated.
          • After April 2016, reason to have concerns is radiation dose while fuel is in spent fuel pool. Dose is quite high. There is nothing in regs about its impact on the quality of our maple syrup, for example, or on our lands here.
          • State seeks to continue to take sample and to provide independent monitoring.
            • Local fire departments cannot deal with catastrophic events and/or take samples.
          • Looking for small amount of $ for ERDS until 202 or so, when fuel will be in dry casks
          • Another example: exemption requests do not take into account hostile actions, for example an aircraft going into the spent fuel pool
        • David Mears (ANR): Climate change is a reason for NEPA to do a site specific environmental impact statement. (Rising water level in Connecticut River).
        • Recchia (DPS): NRC considers spent fuel in pools as safe as in casks
        • Martin Langveld (citizen rep):[at 02:41 on video]
        • We heard from Entergy – their power point closed with a slide on Openness and Transparency. Then there is a one-sided discussion because Entergy’s lawyers won’t let Mike (Wamser) talk. I noticed none of the lawyers are here tonight. We should have the lawyers next to you to stop you from saying anything wrong. We really need answers to these questions.
          • There is really something to the On/Off switch analogy. There is no difference in the day Before April 2016 and the day after.
          • What are the risks? We feel guilty just trying to construct these scenarios, like airplanes crashing in, but stranger things have happened. The language of “maximum credible emergency” should include these kinds of situations. We don’t know if they do or not because we can’t get answers.
        • Campney: From the local perspective, now that we’re in NRC world, how do we engage? We’re cut out of this process that regulates us. They’ve [NRC] admitted, they’re making it up as they go long.
        • Wamser: Our conversation is constrained. We’ve talked about EPZ for months.  showed this EPZ many times to emergency responders, emergency management experts in all three states, FEMA, Greenfield Recorder. It has been in the public domain.
        • Campney: I was not talking about Entergy. I was talking about the NRC process, the people who regulate us.Frankly, were cut out.
        • Recchia: You can get NRC notices. [Comments: its impossible. ] We can;t take responsibility of letting you know but we can gry to keep track of deadlines.
        • Campney: IF this is a community process, what do we have access to? And this [EPZ] is one tiny peice. Lots coming down the road.
        • Public Questions and Comments:
          • Susan Lantz, Northampton: We have been battling with NRC for years. SAFSTOR – “defueled” emergency plan. I live downstream. There is nothing “defueld” about VT Yankee when there is spent fuel in fuel pool 7 stories high on the bank of the River. It is not defueled.
            •   Not one word abot Fukushima.
            • I hear a lot about money, but not a word about people.
            • What about earthquakes? Extreme weather? We cannot be so arrogant to think we can keep ourselves safe from this deadly thing we created.
          • Sandy Kosterman, Greenfield: Read the letter from the Greenfield selectboard unanimously opposing EPZ & ERDS exemptions. Submitted hard copies to O’Connor for NDCAP. Gill, Bernardston and Warwick wrote similar letters Ed Note: Sandy did the same at the Decmber NDCAP meeting. While other documents submitted that night were posted to NDCAP, the Greenfield & Gill letters were not.
            • Japan – US asked for 50 mile evacuation zone.
            • Staff downsizing could result in unreliable data and faulty calculations. Security should be increased. Safety should be #1 concern.
            • MA & NH should have more input into this – more people live in
          • O’Connor (Chair): Getting late, we’ll be kicked out of the room. We will provide an email address so public can comment and ask questions.
          • Sullivan Sachs: All these people came for this Agenda item, as you know. No one is going to kick the meeting out, we’ve met here many times.
              • O’Connor: OK, 15 more minutes
          • Judy Davidson, Dummerston: Thank you to the State for taking a stand on this. There is real danger of a zirconium fire in the fuel pool, especially now that it is overpacked with all the spent fuel rods. It has four times as much in there as it was designed to hold. water is not circulating as it was designed.
            • Can’t some of the older fuel be moved into cask now? Is it feasible? To reduce risk of spent fuel pool fire?
            • Irwin: we have always wanted to get fuel out of the pool sooner rather than later. National Academies of Science confirms fire risk.
          • Frances Crowe, Northampton: I hopethe Board of Health is looking at cancer registry. Look at what happened at Conn. Yankee. I think it is beginning to rise now.
            • Irwin: Annual reports for env survellance for last 10years are published. there is a VT cancer registry, it continues to look at radiation related cancers and all cancers.
            •  Leo went to the mic but O’Connor did not see him.
          • O’Connor: next meeting (discussion by panel)
            • MARCH 26 tentatively set for Brattleboro Union High School
            • No April Meeting
          • Temporary EMAIL Comments:Anthony.Leshinskie@state.vt.us (VT State Nuclear Engineer)
          • Leo Schiff, Brattleboro, said he works upstairs with disabled people in the area.
            • In a disaster, there are many who are cannot move themselves during an evacuation – people in nursing homes, children, institutions, those without cars.
            • Our most vulnerable need the utmost protection.