From Vtdigger.org:

The Office of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo blasted Entergy officials yesterday for more corporate shenanigans from a company already mired in controversy here in Vermont.  According to the NYS OAG’s letter, Entergy waited until just hours before a decision is expected from state regulators in New York to file major new documents in the case concerning their plans to spin-off a handful of their decaying nuclear plants to a shell corporation called Enexus.

The OAG decried the legal maneuver, saying that it would “thoroughly frustrated public review, comment and participation.”  The Attorney General also noted that Entergy’s submission “contained several inaccurate responses” including one that claimed that no solid or hazardous waste has ever been disposed of on site at the company’s Indian Point reactor.

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From NECN:

Citing concerns over the safety and management of the nuclear plant just on the other side of the Vermont border, New Hampshire governor John Lynch today called on teh Nuclear Regulatory Commission to "thoroughly investigate" the plant before giving it a license extension.

The letter cited the recent discovery of tritium in groundwater near the plant and the recent confirmation of underground pipelines near Vermont Yankee as "revelations (that) lead me to question the credibility of Entergy and its ability to safely manage the plant. They also lead me to conclude that the NRC must undertake an additional and thorough investigation into the Vermont Yankee plant."

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From Massachusetts Governor Patrick:

Because of the proximity of the Vermont Yankee plant to Massachusetts, the concern that tritium may leak into the groundwater, and the possibility that there may also be leaks of radioactive substances at Pilgrim, I ask that you undertake the following immediately:

  • require extensive testing from leaks of tritium and other radioactive substances at both Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim, including testing of potentially impacted drinking water supplies and of the Connecticut River in proximity to Vermont Yankee;
  • stay any further consideration of the approval of the spin-off of the Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim plants from Entergy to Enexus until the leak issues are resolved; and
  • stay any further consideration of the relicensing of both plants until the leak issues are resolved.

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From the Brattleboro Reformer:

For a number of reasons, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should force Entergy to put into cold shutdown its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, stated the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution in a filing to the NRC submitted Tuesday.

Those reasons include the increasing concentrations of tritium in groundwater below the plant, Entergy's failure to know and understand Yankee's design, layout and construction, the inadequacy of Yankee's underground piping aging management plan and the NRC's failure to identify the situation until it became "grossly self revealing."

Therefore, wrote Ray Shadis, NEC's technical consultant, the NRC should force Yankee to go into cold shutdown and depressurize all systems in order to slow or stop the leak.

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From the Republican:

Radioactive tritium that is leaking from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon is now believed to have reached the Connecticut River, and calls are growing for the plant to be closed down while the leak is located and repaired.

The owner of the 38-year-old plant, Louisiana-based Entergy Corp., is seeking to extend the plant's license 20 years beyond the scheduled 2012 expiration. However, in November, radioactive contamination was first detected in monitoring wells on the property, suspected of being from leaks in underground piping at the plant, which is by located alongside the Connecticut River.

Since then, the levels of contamination found in some wells has risen dramatically. The federal safety standard for tritium in drinking water is 20,000 picocuries per liter, but water from one monitoring well measured nearly 2.6 million picocuries per liter.

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From GreenvilleOnline.com:

Samples from two adjacent groundwater monitoring wells at Oconee Nuclear Station exceeded state, federal and industry standards for tritium, a radioactive material, Duke Energy said Tuesday.

Elevated levels of tritium were found in two of 54 monitoring wells at the nuclear station on Lake Keowee, but there's no danger to the public, Duke and Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said.

“The samples were taken from two monitoring wells — not drinking water wells. There is no health risk to the public or plant employees or a violation of EPA standards since this water is not for consumption,” said Dave Baxter, Oconee site vice president.

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From the NRC:

On December 31, 2009, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed an integrated inspection at your Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station (PBAPS), Units 2 and 3. The enclosed integrated inspection report documents the inspection results, which were discussed on January 15, 2010, with Mr. William Maguire and other members of your staff.

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From the Economist:

The nuclear industry got an unexpected boost from Barack Obama in his State of the Union address last month. The president pledged to build a “new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants”. On February 1st he followed that up in his proposed budget for 2011 by tripling to $54 billion the value of loans for new nuclear plants the government is offering to guarantee. Elsewhere, too, prospects for the business look good: the United Arab Emirates (UAE) completed a tender for four nuclear plants in December, Vietnam is planning a similar deal this year and many other countries, from Italy to Indonesia, are hoping to build new reactors soon.

Yet the $40 billion contract in the UAE, won by a consortium led by Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), South Korea’s largely state-owned electricity monopoly, has caused consternation among the six big firms that have dominated the industry for decades: GE and Westinghouse of America, Areva of France, and Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan. Russian and Chinese firms hope to follow the Koreans’ lead. Suddenly the incumbents are confronted by emerging-market “national champions” with the full backing of their governments—an invaluable asset in a high-liability business like nuclear power.

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From the Rutland Herald:

The Douglas administration has been forced to take a tough line on false statements coming from the owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and on the problems arising from the underground pipes now leaking radioactive tritium into the groundwater in Vernon.

Entergy Nuclear, the owner of Yankee, responded to the furor last week by removing Jay Thayer from his post as vice president of operations for Vermont Yankee. Thayer is the Entergy executive who told the Legislature that Vermont Yankee did not have underground pipes. His statements were part of what Vermont regulators call a pattern of deceit practiced by Entergy about the plant.

But removing Thayer is not enough, said Vermont officials. Getting rid of one person is "tokenism," according to Public Service Commissioner David O'Brien. The company must do more to get its act together before Vermonters can trust what it says.

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The winter snow storm that occurred on February 7-8, 2010, prompted numerous inquires to the EFMR office about the
availability of KI (Potassium Iodide) in the event of a nuclear evacuation. EFMR has recently secured additional stocks of KI
tablets. If you’re interested in receiving KI tablets, please contact EFMR directly at #717-541-1101 or e-mail a request to lechambon@comcast.net

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