Waste

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December 22, 2009

By Susan Smallheer

STAFF WRITER   Rutland Herald

BRATTLEBORO – The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a petition from three Northeast states that sought to have the issue of the safety of spent fuel pools at nuclear power plants considered in any relicensing review.

Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York had all petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to change its rules to include their safety concerns about the spent fuel contained in nuclear power plant's reactor buildings in any re-licensing review.

The NRC had rejected the states' petitions, and the matter landed in front of the 2nd Circuit, which is based in New York City.

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By BOB AUDETTE  Brattleboro Reformer

BRATTLEBORO -- If no federal repository for spent nuclear fuel is opened in the next 100 years, the nation’s taxpayers could be on the hook to pay for on-site storage, such as the dry casks at Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.

That cost could run anywhere between $10 billion and $26 billion.

 

 

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Official NRC News Release: 

Oct. 30, 2009

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has cited Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., with four violations concerning improper disposal and transfer of tritium exit signs at its stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

The violations, issued Oct. 28, concerned the improper transfer or disposal of 2,462 signs from Wal-Mart stores in states under NRC jurisdiction between 2000 and 2008, and the improper transfer of an additional 517 signs between various Wal-Mart facilities. The company also failed to appoint an official responsible for complying with regulatory requirements and failed to report broken or damaged signs as required.

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By Kathryn Casa | Vermont Guardian

 

Posted March 24, 2005

 

The casks that Vermont Yankee plans to use to store highly radioactive nuclear waste in Vernon are “time bombs” riddled with material, design and welding flaws, according to a former nuclear industry inspector and auditor of the Holtec cask system.

 

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Rutland Herald     Aug. 20, 2009

Entergy: Yankee shortfall less short

By Susan Smallheer STAFF WRITER

 

BRATTLEBORO — Entergy Nuclear has claimed the $87 million gap between what it has saved for the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee and what it needs to do the job has shrunk to $58 million.

In a filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the owner of the Vernon reactor said it would provide federal regulators with an unspecified "financial assurance mechanism" later this year to prove it was good for the money.

 August 19, 2009

Changed F.B.I. Agents’ Role Shown When Radioactive Material Went Missing

 

By ERIC SCHMITT

NORWALK, Calif. — The report last month was chilling: a 55-gallon drum of radioactive material had gone missing during shipment from North Carolina to California. Even worse, the person who signed for the cargo was not an employee of the company that ordered the load.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation here ramped up, consulting health officials, questioning radiation specialists and tracking down the trucker who dropped off the material, which could be used in a radioactive-bomb attack. Three hours later, the shipper found the drum — still sitting on a loading dock 20 miles from its destination in the Los Angeles area — having confused it with a similar shipment sent to a different company on the same day.

For an F.B.I. team here that vets tips and threats about possible terrorist activity, it was yet another false alarm in a job largely defined by hoaxes and bogus leads that must still be run to ground.

“A lot of time we are chasing shadows,” said Lee Ann Bernardino, a 20-year F.B.I. special agent who handled the case, “but it’s better to do that than find out later you let something get by.”

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Article published Aug. 13, 2009

NRC: Dry cask test was eliminated

By Louis Porter Vermont Press Bureau

MONTPELIER – The concrete-and-steel "dry casks" used at the Vermont Yankee plant to store spent nuclear fuel were not tested as completely as they should have been, according to federal regulators.

But the decision by Holtec International, the New Jersey company that built the casks, to omit one set of tests does not pose a safety risk, Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said Wednesday. That's because there were other kinds of inspections done on those casks, and the waste stored in the casks is not as hot as allowed, meaning they are safe even though they were not tested with pressurized helium as required under a federal licensing agreement.

About 109 of the casks that were not completely tested are in use nationwide, including five at Vermont Yankee, regulators say.

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 July 24, 2009

Decision will influence future of industry

By PETER BEHR of ClimateWire

The Obama administration is close to a decision on filling two vacancies on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, according to industry and congressional sources. The appointments would come at a pivotal time for the industry's hopes of a revival, as NRC weighs operating license applications for a handful of new reactors and a review of its waste fuel policy.

The administration is believed to have settled on former Energy Department official William Magwood and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor George Apostolakis as the nominees. Both would be welcomed by the industry, officials said.

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By Marlene Lang 

 

Think you are the only one who can't manage to set aside a nest egg? Don't feel lonely. Your neighborhood nuclear power plant may be busily creating a remedial savings plan of its own. 

Twenty-six plants nationwide showed shortfalls in the funds they are required by federal law to set aside for dismantling the reactors someday and cleaning up after themselves. The closely watched Three Mile Island plant was not on the shortfall list. 

Every year the Nuclear Regulatory Commission checks on the state of so-called "decommissioning funds." Most years there are only a handful of plants running short of having those estimated costs laid up, usually four or five one official said. Those billions set aside for close-down and clean-up don't just pile up under a mattress, of course; the money is invested in the stock market. According to an Associated Press report, some $4.4 billion in decommissioning funds was lost in the downturn, even as the actual costs for shutting down plants has risen by $4.6 billion because of (I love this part) rising energy costs – and labor costs. 

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