Three states join Vermont over NRC's new rules for decommissioning nuclear power plants

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Three states join Vermont over NRC's new rules for decommissioning nuclear power plants

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 3:27pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General William H Sorrell and four state agencies are leading a multi-state effort to have the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) take into account state interests as the NRC drafts new rules for decommissioning nuclear power plants. The Departments of Public Service, the Agency of Natural Resources, the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and the Department of Health contributed to the Comments filed last Friday.

Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant file photo.

The Comments were joined by Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York. “We greatly appreciate having the support of these other Attorneys General in raising the issues Vermont has been talking about for a while now,” said Attorney General Sorrell. “They see the importance of changing the rules to give real weight to state concerns relating to critical decommissioning issues. We don’t want to see plants simply being mothballed for decades. Nor do we want to have a plant owner without the money to cover an environmentally protective cleanup.”

Department of Public Service Commissioner Christopher Recchia noted the importance of letting the NRC know where States stand on these issues: “Having three other Northeast states join with us in authoring these Comments shows that the issues Vermont has been raising with the NRC for more than two years are not unique concerns. These issues affect all states that are or will soon be faced with decommissioning a nuclear power plant within its borders. These multi-state Comments will highlight that point to the NRC.”

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn affirmed the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Comments stressing the importance of continued planning around nuclear power plants: “Emergency preparedness and response requirements should remain robust commensurate with the hazards at these facilities. We hope to see continued requirements memorialized in the new decommissioning rules.”

Separately, last November, the State of Vermont and two utilities filed a Petition with the NRC regarding Entergy’s planned uses of the Vermont Yankee decommissioning trust fund. That matter is still pending before the NRC.

Vermont AG: March 21, 2016. See Comments