VY is walking the walk with decommissioning

BRATTLEBORO — Vermont Yankee's decommissioning plan has received much constructive, timely, thoughtful criticism from interested parties. It has also been on the receiving end of ill-informed, poorly timed ideas that would seem to offer nothing but millions of dollars of added cost and many years of delay.

The suggestion to relocate the proposed spent-fuel dry-cask storage pad elsewhere onsite is one of the latter category. Some members of the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (VNDCAP), at its Dec. 10 meeting, said the pad's currently planned location might hinder workers moving to and from the plant.

A Vermont Yankee official quoted decommissioning contractors as not seeing the location as a problem. Vermont Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia said the proposed relocation would be too expensive and add hundreds of millions of dollars to the final costs.

Undaunted, the VNDCAP will attempt to thoroughly research, draft, approve, and formally submit its advice to the Vermont Public Service Board.

Some VNDCAP members like to wag their fingers at Vermont Yankee about decommissioning cost control. They seem oblivious to a pattern of cost-control successes: submissions of decommissioning plans months ahead of schedule; a separate $145 million line of credit as bridging finance for spent-fuel management; an effective, realistic emergency plan, and the dry-cask fuel transfer date moved up two full years. Plant management has accomplished this while still running $5 million under budget (as of November 2015).

In short, Vermont Yankee management is walking the walk of prudent, prompt, safe decommissioning.

Others, it seems, just talk the talk to increase costs and delay the decommissioning.

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