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Doubts about the Vermont Yankee nuclear cleanup plan

ANTI-NUCLEAR GROUP DOUBTS VERMONT YANKEE CLEANUP PLAN, VTDIGGER,JUL. 9, 2017, 4:17 PM BY MIKE FAHER BRATTLEBORO – The company that wants to buy Vermont Yankee hasn’t properly assessed the plant for radiological contamination and “cannot know” the true cleanup cost, a Brattleboro anti-nuclear group contends.

The New England Coalition, in new filings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, seeks to intervene in the federal review of Vermont Yankee’s proposed sale to NorthStar Group Services.

One of the coalition’s biggest concerns mirrors worries that have been previously expressed by Vermont officials: that NorthStar could run into unforeseen problems and run out of money before finishing decommissioning.

NorthStar “cannot reasonably assure that it has adequate financial resources to own and operate Vermont Yankee for the purpose of decommissioning and fuel storage,” wrote Ray Shadis, a New England Coalition technical adviser…….

NorthStar has promised to clean up the majority of the site no later than 2030. That would make the property available for redevelopment much sooner, but some have expressed skepticism about the company’s ability to follow through.

That sentiment has spilled over to the NRC’s review of NorthStar’s plans.

In documents filed last month with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board – an independent judicial body of the NRC – Vermont officials declared there is “significant risk” in NorthStar’s proposal due to “numerous, thus-far-unanalyzed health, safety and environmental concerns.”

State officials focused on financial issues, arguing that unexpected contamination, complications related to long-term spent fuel storage, and other issues could drastically drive up decommissioning costs.

Like Vermont officials, the New England Coalition is asking the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board for intervention status and a hearing in connection with the Vermont Yankee license transfer. The coalition offers two main contentions.

First, Shadis says the license transfer application is incomplete because it does not offer any environmental impact statement or “any substantive and reliable information about the varieties, quantities, depth and extent of radiological contamination.”

Shadis is critical of what he calls the NRC’s “tunnel vision” approach to NorthStar’s application.

He says the scope of NorthStar’s decommissioning proposal is far greater than a standard license transfer application. Instead, NorthStar is pitching “an untested method of managing decommissioning under new and unanalyzed circumstances.”……..https://vtdigger.org/2017/07/09/anti-nuclear-group-doubts-vermont-yankee-cleanup-plan/

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July 17, 2017 - Posted by | decommission reactor, USA

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