Richard January

VY completes another decommissioning milestone

As a former employee at Vermont Yankee, I take great interest in hearing the updates on the decommissioning status of the facility. Last week's news announcement that Vermont Yankee's spent fuel has been completely transferred from the spent-fuel pool into dry-cask storage is excellent news for the plant community and Vermont Yankee's future.

Vermont Yankee has completed another key milestone toward decommissioning and has done so within budget and well ahead of schedule.

I'm hopeful that the sale is approved and that Vernon can benefit from a restored site and new economic opportunities within the near future.


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Set aside prior antagonism and clean VY promptly for reuse

As a retired Vermont Yankee engineer, I have continued to follow the activities related to the decommissioning of the plant. I read with great interest the recent announcement that state officials, Entergy, and NorthStar have finally arrived at an agreement that has the potential to allow for a prompt...

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Reducing security footprint saves funds, hastens decommissioning

Saving money in a safe way: that has been the commitment and focus for Vermont Yankee shutdown and decommissioning ever since the plant ceased operations in 2014. The decommissioning trust fund is large (almost $600 million now) but finite. It must be used prudently to finish a lengthy, complicated...

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Why does Vermont impede VY decommissioning at every step?

Decommissioning Vermont Yankee, safely and efficiently, is a very important issue for the entire region. It is crucial that all concerned and that industry and government cooperate to make this task happen as quickly as possible. So it's hard to understand why the state of Vermont tries to impede the process at every step. Entergy made a good-faith effort, one not required by regulations, by borrowing nearly $150 million to fund the transfer of nuclear fuel from the fuel pool...

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Less danger, less need for Emergency Planning Zone

The state of Vermont wants Vermont Yankee's longtime emergency planning zone (EPZ) and emergency response organization (ERO) to remain in force and unchanged until 2020. The state cites safety concerns, but as a retired nuclear power engineer, I don't make sense of that reason. It's really simple: once the spent fuel is in the fuel pool, the potential for serious accident is greatly reduced and the current high level of emergency preparedness is no longer necessary. It's like the end...

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State has to keep its end of the bargain with VY

For years, Vermont Yankee opponents have insisted, “Let the state have more say.” A recent news article reports that now that state environmental officials seem likely to find in favor of the plant, one longtime Vermont Yankee foe is fretting about the national ramifications of a looming decision by a state agency. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources plans to uphold the safe, proven practice of running cool Connecticut River water over steam-filled Vermont Yankee pipes, then discharging it downstream.

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VY proves that it’s a good neighbor

They say that money talks, baloney walks. (Well “they” don't actually say “baloney,” but this is a family newspaper.) Vermont Yankee has a track record of being a good neighbor: it pays its bills on time, supports the community, and provides jobs. Vermont Yankee's handling of its property tax bill is a perfect example of a good corporate neighbor walking the walk. The Vernon Selectboard admitted that, with the state of Vermont desperately trying to shut the plant down, Vermont...

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Proud to live in VY economic benefit zone

There are a handful of signs out marking a so-called “Vermont Yankee Evacuation Zone.” VY does not have an evacuation zone, but it does have a 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ), a requirement of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The 650 people who work at Vermont Yankee have earned a green rating for safe operations, the highest rating by the NRC. This rating reflects that VY is operating within normal range and that the plant has met the NRC's clearly defined...

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