Vermont Yankee fuel rods found

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Vermont Yankee fuel rods found

Wed, 07/14/2004 - 8:00pm -- tim

Entergy Locates Spent Fuel Segments at Vermont Yankee
Entergy workers at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon located on July 13, 2004, the missing spent fuel rod segments in the plant's spent fuel pool. The two pieces were stored in a unique 40-inch aluminum cylinder, which is unlike a typical storage container but is similar to several other aluminum structures and tools in the pool.
Entergy VY Site Vice President Jay Thayer credited interviews with former employees and contractors, intense research of records and documents dating back more than 25 years, and video tapes of the pool that were recently taken.
Said Thayer, ''Our search team designed a detailed search plan that explored every possibility from three different angles. They looked visually with the cameras, they searched the documents, and they talked to people who were on the scene 25 years ago. The team deserves a tremendous amount of credit.
''We earlier had checked all the containers in the pool, but when we learned that General Electric had designed and sent a pipe-like cylinder for the fuel-rod pieces, we rechecked the videotapes. That's when we noticed that what was previously thought to be part of an existing in-pool structure could very well be the canister that GE sent here.''
Workers used remotely operated tools to open the canister and insert a small high- resolution video camera that confirmed the presence of the fuel segments, which are nine inches and seventeen inches long and about the diameter of a pencil.
Thayer also credits the resident NRC inspectors at Vermont Yankee and William Sherman, the Vermont Public Service Department's nuclear engineer, for their contributions to the investigation. ''These folks had full and open access to the process every step of the way and they provided valuable insights and guidance.''
Thayer said the policies and procedures for record keeping and documentation of activities in Vermont Yankee's spent fuel pool have been revised to ensure accurate record keeping. ''We want to make sure this doesn't happen again,'' he said.
This press release was released July 13 and is available online at www.entergy.com.
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