BRATTLEBORO — A group that has opposed the operation of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon for more than 40 years says it will stay involved in the power plant’s future, including a recent proposal by Entergy, the plant’s owner, to construct a new concrete pad to store spent nuclear fuel at the site.
On June 30, Entergy announced that it had filed with the Vermont Public Service Board a request for a certificate of public good to build a second nuclear waste storage pad at Vermont Yankee. On May 14, Entergy notified the Vernon Selectboard, the Vernon Planning Commission and the Windham Regional commission that it would be submitting the application for a CPG.
In a press release, Entergy noted it is proposing to construct an engineered pad within Vermont Yankee’s protected area, which will be located adjacent to a similar pad approved by the PSB in 2006 and now in use.
“With a reasonable period for regulatory review and public input, it is likely that construction could be completed in 2017,” noted the press release. “Allowing for the normal five-year fuel cooling period after ceasing operations, Entergy expects the transfer of all Vermont Yankee spent fuel from the fuel pool to dry storage could be completed in 2020.”
Those concerns include what NEC characterizes as “a series of fuel handing mishaps in 2008.”
“NEC does not believe that ENVY is adequately qualified or prepared to safely handle what will be one of the largest continuing irradiated fuel cask loading campaigns ever undertaken in the United States,” stated the press release. NEC also contends that Vermont Yankee “has so far refused to consider the standard of ‘best practices,’ which would proof the storage site against flooding, aircraft impact, terrorist attack, or external environmental impacts, such as a seismically-triggered landslide into the Connecticut River.”
NEC would like Entergy and the Public Service Board to consider the feasibility of an alternative site, one removed from the river flood plain where terrain may be more suitable to irradiated fuel consolidation and security.
Read more at NEC to keep watchful eye on dry cask proposal