Vt. Yankee moving forward with storage plan
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Entergy has announced it is taking the first steps toward moving its spent fuel to dry-cask storage at the Vermont Yankee site by 2021, with plans to file with the state to build a second concrete pad.
The announcement of the filing by June 30 are in keeping with an agreement with the Vermont Public Service Board on a Certificate of Public Good for the plant to operate through the end of the year.
The planned move of 2,627 spent fuel assemblies from the plant’s fuel pool and another 368 from the reactor vessel to passive, air-cooled dry storage will allow Entergy to move its Vernon site toward decommissioning, the corporation said in a press statement.
“Today is the first step in that process,” Thursday’s statement read, and began with submitting notice to Vernon’s town planning and select boards as well as the Windham Regional Commission that it intends to seek state approval to build “a large, flat concrete 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.”
That pad now holds 13 dry casks — each containing 68 fuel assemblies — and has room for 23 more. The additional pad will be the same size and will be “immediately adjacent” to the existing pad, depending on soil samples that have to be done, according to Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi.
“With a reasonable period for regulatory review and public input, it is likely that construction could be completed in 2017 and the transfer of all Vermont Yankee spent fuel from wet storage to dry could be completed in 2020,” the statement said.
“It’s very hopeful,” said Deb Katz, executive director of Citizens Awareness Network, one of a variety of anti-nuclear organizations that has been pressing for quick removal of spent fuel to be moved to a dry cask system. “It goes along with commitments Entergy made to the state to move the fuel by 2021. The fact that they’re moving expeditiously , I think, is very good.”