Governor Douglas pushes for Vermont Yankee safety review

first_imgGovernor Douglas noted that members of Vermonts Congressional delegationhave their own concerns with the information needed for a license extension,and his administration continues to discuss the matter with them.  TheVermont General Assembly is also considering legislation of its own to addressthis issue.  Douglas said he expects thepoint of view of the delegation and the Legislature to influence the scope ofthe ISA.  The Governor said it is critical that, before the State of Vermont is in a positionto consider a license extension, that a comprehensive reliability and safetyassessment of Vermont Yankee-known in energy circles as an ISA-beconducted as soon as possible. ### “These events have shaken the confidence of Vermonters and ourneighbors in New Hampshire and Massachusetts about thesafety and reliability of the plant.  They have brought into questionwhether Vermont Yankee should operate beyond its present operating licenseexpiration date of 2012,” the Governor wrote.  “In addition, Ineed to be assured that the conditions and/or practices that contributed to theevents of last summer do not extend to other areas of the Vermont Yankeeoperation which may have an impact on plant safety as well asreliability.” In a letter to NRC Chairman Dale Klein, Governor Douglas said theoperation of Vermont Yankee is at a critical juncture and events during thesummer of last year raised questions about the reliability of thestation.  Vermont Yankee had several events that included the partialcollapse of a cooling tower and a reactor scram that have each been traced toshortcomings in the maintenance of equipment. GovernorUrges NRC to Approve Independent Safety Assessment “I am formally requesting that the NRC conduct such anassessment, and do so in consultation with the Vermont Department of PublicService in formulating the inspection program.  I also request that theassessment include the participation of the Vermont State Nuclear Engineer andconsultants, and those NRC inspectors and contractors have independence fromthe Vermont Yankee operation,” the Governor continued.  “Thebottom line is that any such assessment must provide the information needed forour regulators and the Vermont General Assembly to determine if the VermontYankee nuclear station can operate safely and reliably for the additional 20years requested beyond its current licensed life.” “If the NRC is to conduct the assessment which I believe isessential, it must be initiated in the next several months to be completed in atimely fashion such that its findings can be available to both our PublicService Board and the General Assembly when it convenes next January,”the Governor said.   “Every day that passes without this safetyand reliability assessment underway is another day we don’t have theanswers to our most significant questions.” Montpelier, Vt.March 12, 2008 — Governor Jim Douglas has called on the U.S. NuclearRegulatory Commission to support a reliability and safetyassessment-commonly called an Independent Safety Assessment(ISA)-of the Entergy Vermont Yankee nuclear power station in Vernon.last_img

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