Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold webinar on Vermont Yankee decommissioning

  • The containment building and the turbine building of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, Vt., which is being decommissioned. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • The abandoned control room no longer in operation at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, Vt. AP Photo

  • Demolition began on the east cooling towers at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, Vt. on July 11. The plant was shut down on Dec. 29, 2014. AP Photo

  • A worker walks past the main transformer, no longer in service, at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, Vt., earlier this year. AP Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 11/18/2019 1:00:36 AM

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will give people a chance to weigh in on the Decommissioning Community Advisory Board and its work to decommission the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant during a webinar on Tuesday.

Vermont Yankee shut down at the end of 2014, and the NRC has overseen the shutdown and decommissioning. The company doing the work has said it would begin demolition of the property in early 2020. It most recently removed the cooling towers.

The complete decommissioning of the power plant is targeted for 2030, and the NRC has said that based on how everything has gone so far, the target date should be met.

The webinar will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday to provide interested members of the public another opportunity to comment on the board’s best practices. Those participating in the webinar will be able to view slides prepared by NRC staff and ask questions both verbally and in writing via a web page set up to host the session.

Online registration at bit.ly/2XfaBun is required.

Under the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, which became law on Jan. 14, the NRC is required to prepare a report for Congress identifying best practices for the establishment and operation of local community advisory boards in communities near decommissioning nuclear power plants like Vermont Yankee in Vernon, Vt. To gather information for that report, the NRC staff conducted a kickoff webinar on Aug. 8 and held 11 public meetings near every plant undergoing decommissioning, including Vermont Yankee.

NRC spokesperson Neil Sheehan said a half-billion dollar trust fund, which NRC also oversees, will be used for all of the work that needs to be done at the Vermont site.

NorthStar Nuclear Decommissioning Co. LLC, the company doing the work, has said it is making “steady progress” on the segmentation of the reactor vessel housed in the reactor building. NorthStar also hired Orano, a French company, to cut up the reactor’s internals, and that should take about 18 months, the company estimates.

Sheehan said that since NorthStar took over, the company has been doing work safely and in accordance with NRC regulations.

The NorthStar decommissioning team includes: Orano; Waste Control Specialists for waste management, packaging, transport and disposal; and Burns & McDonnell for engineering and regulatory support.

Additional information on decommissioning activities can be found at: nrc.gov.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-0261, ext. 269 or afritz@recorder.com.




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