Monday, July 6, 2015

Vermont Utilities Seek Power: from Seabrook, from Solar. Guy Page Guest Post

Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant
Vermont utilities seek more nuclear power from Seabrook, 80 acres of solar planned for Rutland Town, and more

By Guy Page
Communications Director, Vermont Energy Partnership

Just because the Legislature has gone home doesn’t mean Vermont has taken a holiday from energy deals and projects. Far from it! In June alone, the wheels were turning to bring more hydro, nuclear (you read correctly), natural gas, and solar power to Vermont – or in the case of hydro, at least through Vermont.

Nuclear – in June both Green Mountain Power (GMP) and Vermont Electric Co-operative (VEC) petitioned the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) to buy nuclear power from Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire. Both deals would run from 2018 – 2034. Details are preliminary at present, but VEC’s petition calls for up to 10 MW of power. GMP, for its part, hopes the contract will help cover peak load needs. This will be the second GMP contract with Seabrook; the state’s largest utility entered into a baseload power contract in 2011.

Meanwhile at Vermont Yankee, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given the shuttered plant permission to access the decommissioning trust fund to help pay for spent fuel management, much to the consternation of the State of Vermont Department of Public Service. VY has also arranged about $150 million in private financing and has said that all spent fuel management monies will be reimbursed when the U.S. Department of Energy returns the funds set aside for the unopened national spent fuel repository.

Hydro – the Vermont Conservation Law Foundation has endorsed the construction of the TDI cable project beneath Lake Champlain, following the Quebec-based company’s decision to deliver $283 million for Lake Champlain cleanup. If built (2019 start date), the TDI project would carry hydro power south under the Lake, make landfall at Benson in Rutland County, and then traverse Vermont underground. Southern New England is regarded as the priority customer for the 1,000 MW of TDI power. The cost is expected to be 9-10 cents per kw/h, including the cost of construction, Vermont energy experts say. At least it will not suffer the fate of the Quebec high power transmission lines that were damaged from above in December, 2014, causing a power loss to almost 200,000 southern Quebec customers. Norman Dube, 53, a Quebec resident who allegedly had a labor dispute with Hydro Quebec, dropped unnamed objects on the power lines from an airplane, according to CBC coverage of his trial, which began this month.

Natural Gas - The PSB held hearings June 22-23 in Montpelier on the embattled Phase One (to Middlebury) Vermont Gas Pipeline Project. It was concerned that the cost estimate had jumped about 85% to $154 million. No decision on the project’s future was expected this week. However, supporters of New England regional fuel diversity note that the unexpected cost increases should be a cautionary tale to supporters of the “just build more gas pipeline” solution to New England’s projected energy supply shortfalls. Over-reliance on any one form of power – be it price-volatile natural gas or Quebec hydro-power – is risky for both reliability and affordability.

Solar – State energy officials, speaking at a June 24, Montpelier discussion of the revised Comprehensive Energy Plan, said instate solar development will be very heavy during the next 18 months, to take full advantage of federal tax credits for renewable energy construction before they expire Jan. 1 2017. As if to illustrate, the Rutland Herald reported the planned construction of two Cold River Road, Rutland Town solar farms totaling 55,000 panels spread out over 80 acres. One of the projects already has PSB approval, but will be appealed by Rutland Town to the Vermont Supreme Court.

-----

Guy Page of VTEP is a frequent guest blogger at this blog.  This article has also appeared in several publications in Vermont, including Vermont Business Magazine.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mostly about Vermont Yankee: The Boston Meeting on the future New England Energy Mix

Looking forward to Nuclear Going Forward

On June 24, in Boston, Bloomberg BNA and Nuclear Matters co-sponsored an event about the future of nuclear,  Nuclear Going Forward.  The two organizations are holding a series of these joint events.  The June meeting was A Chain Reaction: The Role of Nuclear Energy in New England's Energy Mix.

The June meeting had an absolutely stellar line-up of speakers, including nuclear plant owners and nuclear start-up companies.  In this meeting, nuclear energy (current and future) was not compartmentalized, but rather presented as a whole. And the conference focused on New England!  I was delighted to go to it.

I wrote about my plan to attend the meeting in this blogpost, and you can see the videos of the meeting at the Nuclear Going Forward website.

Vermont Yankee and Nuclear Going Forward.

There were three main sections to the meeting.  I will discuss only the second section: a panel focused on existing power plants.

The panel started with extensive discussion about Vermont Yankee (video below). Topics included the reasons for Vermont Yankee shutting down, the consequences of Vermont Yankee shutting down, and the risk factors for other plants in the Northeast. Many of the statements made on this panel will be familiar to readers of this blog.  However, there were some factors that were new to me.

What is a "single plant? I knew that single, stand-alone plants are more vulnerable to being shut down. However,  I didn't remember that Millstone 2 and 3 have different vendors. They do not have the economies of "sharing" (operators, training, etc.) that most dual-unit plants can  boast.   They are more vulnerable than other dual-unit plants because their labor costs are higher.  It would be a disaster for the New England grid if these plants closed.

Do capacity payments help? I had been heartened to see that the forward capacity auction has been yielding higher prices.  That fact, coupled with grid-level "pay for performance," seemed to favor nuclear plants.  However, Mohl of Entergy pointed out that nuclear plants run with a very high capacity factors.  Most of their revenue comes from kWh produced, and only a  small part of their revenues are capacity-type payments (capacity and pay-for-performance).  Nuclear plants receive 15-20% of their revenue through the capacity auctions.  Plants that run a small percentage of the time get much higher percentages of their revenue from the capacity auctions.  In other words, increased prices at the capacity auctions don't help nuclear plants all that much.

Laughing all the way to the bank? During the Polar Vortex, prices on the grid soared and merchant plants gathered a lot of revenue.  All businessmen like extra revenue. Still,  Mohl of Entergy pointed out that this kind of volatility of energy prices is not good for anyone.  Businesses that can't predict their costs will begin to leave the area.  Consumers will have less to spend in the area as their utility bills take up more of their income.  The result can be a downturn. General economic downturns aren't good for consumers or for energy producers.  In other words, during the polar vortex, merchant plants weren't really laughing all the way to the bank.

Forward with Nuclear Going Forward

Nuclear energy is good for

  • reliability (of course), 
  • economic sustainability (prices are low and not volatile), and 
  • environmental sustainability (no carbon, no acid gases, small quantity of mined material compared to fossil fuels of all kinds).  

The general consensus of the meeting, however, is that unless the grid begins to value these benefits, nuclear may have a rocky future.

Endnotes: 

About the meeting as a whole

You can see videos of the entire meeting at this link: http://nuclear-going-forward.bna.com

The first section of the meeting was an interview with John Kotek of DOE about DOE's funding for nuclear-based research.

The second section was a panel discussion about current plants.  The panelists were:
Judd Gregg, former Senator from New Hampshire, now with Nuclear Matters
William Mohl, President, Entergy Wholesale Commodities;
Daniel Weekley, VP, Corporate Affairs, Dominion Resources
(This blog post covered this section of the conference.)

The third section was a panel which included executives from forward-looking nuclear companies, such as LightBridge and NuScale.

Chris Gadomski (Lead Analyst, Nuclear) from Bloomberg New Energy Finance was the moderator for all sections.  As you can see in the videos, Gadomski asked excellent questions. He kept the meeting interesting and (miracle!) on schedule.

Attending Nuclear Going Forward

It was difficult to get to the meeting.  Appearing at 8:30 a.m. for a meeting in an expensive hotel in Boston's Back Bay is do-able if:

  • you live in Boston and know the T
  • you have the money to stay overnight in Boston, preferably at an expensive hotel in Boston's Back Bay.  

Neither was true for me.  I left my driveway in Vermont at 5:17 a.m. for what Google describes as a two-hour-and-ten-minute drive if there was only light traffic. I arrived at the meeting room at 9:05.  (Breakfast was over and the first session was starting.) Yeah, traffic was bad.  I wasn't the only one who was late.

Once I got there, it was worth it.  However, the choice of time and place did make me wonder. What audience were the meeting planners hoping to attract?  Why was the meeting set up in this difficult manner?

Rod Adams and Nuclear Going Forward

Rod Adams was also at the meeting, and his blog post about the meeting is here.  He has some interesting observations, including illuminating conversations with panelists.  There are over twenty comments on his post, and I encourage you to read both his post and the comments.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Future of Energy: Nuclear in New England

Apricot Torte at street cafe in Saumur, France
New England and France

I just returned from a trip to France, in honor of our 50th anniversary.

When I arrived home, I received an email about planning a meeting.  I am a member of a group that plans many meetings about energy. The group is supposed to be impartial.

 The email included the following words about the upcoming meeting:

 (Consider) ….discussing the emission impacts of using natural gas as the swing fuel for covering the intermittence of renewables, versus other fuels (oil, coal). 

The sentence jumped out at me.  I wrote the following response, slightly edited for this blog.

What about nuclear energy?

Dear group members:
Gardens at Chateau Villandry

In reviewing the correspondence about planning (and I know it was a VERY preliminary correspondence!) I noticed there was no suggestion for a comparison between "renewables-plus-gas" and nuclear power.

I know, I know, lots of people don't like nuclear, and I am not trying to persuade them.  But nuclear is 20% of U.S. electricity, and more than half of the low-carbon electricity produced in the U. S. Both the EPA and President Obama say nuclear needs to continue to be a part of our country's energy mix.  If our group doesn't mention nuclear when we are doing comparisons, we show ignorance.

Lots of people don't like wind turbines, but our group does comparisons that include wind turbines.  For our group, "not-liking" cannot mean "we pretend it doesn't exist and we don't mention it."  We can't appear ignorant.

D'accord?

I hope to see complete comparisons at the next meeting.  D'accord?

Yes, I just returned from more than two weeks in France, the country with one of the lowest CO2 emissions per capita in Europe, and one of the lowest electricity rates, too.  I don't understand why some Americans are so in love with the "German example" of wind, solar and lignite, and why they ignore the French success of nuclear energy.

No matter how individuals feel about different technologies, our group is a special group with a charter. As a group, I think we must compare all reasonable options, whether or not those options include our top-favorite technologies.

Best,
Meredith


Backup Links:

European electricity prices:

Germany: households   0.297 Euro per kWh,  industry  0.152 Euro per kWh ( 2014 numbers)
France: households  0.175 Euro per kWh, industry  0.091 Euro per kWh (2014 numbers)

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/File:Half-yearly_electricity_and_gas_prices,_second_half_of_year,_2012–14_(EUR_per_kWh)_YB15.png

CO2 emissions per capita

Germany: 9.115 tonnes per capita, 2.2 % of world total
France: 5.556 tonnes per capita, 1.07% of world total

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

If I had looked a little harder for just the electricity sector, I am sure that the carbon emission differences between France and Germany would be even more in favor of France.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Update: Nuclear Going Forward Conference

Tomorrow morning, there will be an excellent short conference in Boston about nuclear energy.  I just found out that people can register to live-stream it.

The conference is A Chain Reaction: The Role of Nuclear Energy in New England's Energy Mix.  It is sponsored by Bloomberg BNA and Nuclear Matters, and it is part of the Nuclear Going Forward series of events. This conference has quite an impressive group of speakers, including: 
  • William Mohl, President of Entergy Wholesale Commodities 
  • John Kotek of the Office of Nuclear Energy of D O E 
  • Jay Surina, CFO of NuScale Power  

Follow the link and register to watch this conference.  (8:50 a.m. to 11 a.m., Eastern Daylight time) 

Note: I just found out the live-streaming because I was out of town for several weeks, so I am a bit behind about many things.

Update: Dan Yurman's blog Neutron Bytes has an excellent post on this conference.

Energy in New England Focus of Bloomberg Forum with Nuclear Matters.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

There is an emergency plan: Guest post by Howard Shaffer

Vermont Yankee
When it was making power
A recent editorial in the Keene Sentinel claimed that Vermont Yankee is still a danger to its neighbors.  The editorial, NRC backs Entergy bid to turn off emergency data system at Vermont Yankee, begins with the following sentence:

Once again the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission appears ready to dismiss the health and safety of citizens in favor of keeping change in the pocket of Entergy Nuclear Corp.

Several Vermont Yankee supporters wrote letters answering this editorial.  This blog is proud to feature some of their letters.

-----------
There will ALWAYS be Emergency Plans for Vermont Yankee.
by Howard Shaffer

Once again the Sentinel has succumbed to the siren call of the maidens of the anti-nuclear movement.  The editorial writer emotionally attacked the plans to modify the Vermont Yankee plant’s Emergency Plan to match the expected conditions in April 2016.

If Vermont Yankee had never been built, all jurisdictions would still have Emergency Plans, including evacuation when necessary.  Plans are required by Federal Law, for all kinds of emergencies--truck and rail accidents, storms, and industrial accidents at all the different kinds of plants present, etc. They began to be formed in 1979.

In the spring next year, the used fuel at Vermont Yankee will present a much reduced hazard to the public.  The amount of radioactive atom-splitting pieces that could possibly escape will be greatly reduced. All the pieces are still there, but many have given up their radiation and have nothing left to give.  The pieces left will continue to give off radiation, which creates heat, but in an ever-decreasing amount.

Maintaining an Emergency Plan for the plant that was properly needed when the plant was in operation is just a waste of money.  That money would come from the Decommissioning Trust Fund, slowing down the process.  Any money left over at the end will go back to the ratepayers, not to Entergy as the editorial wrongly charges.  Remember the heated discussion about any left-over decommissioning money when the plant was sold to Entergy?

The Emergency Response Data System is a computer link for a small number of plant instruments, to the NRC and State Emergency Response Centers. These few pieces of data indicate if the reactor is headed for a meltdown or not, so the NRC can advise the Governors of the three states to order precautionary evacuations, if the plant’s Offsite Emergency Response Center has not already done it.  There are only one or two data points that would indirectly indicate that the used fuel in the pool was releasing radioactive atom-splitting products, after the fact of an accident.  There are no data points in this link that would predict a release from the fuel pool.  In the spring next year it would take more than a day to get to that point in any conceivable accident, which is more than enough time for plenty of action to be taken to stop any chain of events.

Plenty of time and to inform the NRC, states and the public of events by the many other communication links that will continue to exist.  Keeping this system is also a waste of money. Relying on the normal Emergency Plans of all the surrounding states and towns is more than sufficient for any possible very slowly developing situation.

The plant will continue to have its Emergency Plans for all types of industrial and nuclear-related accidents inside the fence.

The editorial has the emotional tone that no plans at all will exist, which is not the fact, and silly.

----------
Howard Shaffer  PE,  Enfield, NH  Startup Engineer at Vermont Yankee, 2001 Congressional Fellow.

Howard Shaffer is a frequent guest blogger at this blog.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ecomodernism, a fresh approach: Reposted from Northwest Clean Energy Blog

Painted Trillium
my own photo, Pisgah National Forest
Ecomodernism – a fresh approach to thinking about the environment

This is my Earth Day post from the Northwest Clean Energy blog.

Calling Names

When looking at the fate of energy and mankind and the climate, what is a thinking person to think? Most of the information in the popular press seems to be more name-calling than thinking.

  • Increasing carbon dioxide will cause the death of our planet.
  • Attempting to cut carbon dioxide emissions will cause the death of Western Civilization.
  • People who fight renewables are NIMBYs.
  • Some people are Deniers.
  • Other people are Alarmists.
Pejorative terms fly about, and mere facts can get lost in the shuffle.

Getting an idea

Luckily, people are beginning to think about these issues, without all the rhetoric.  It’s hard to get a grip, though.  For example, an excellent recent article in the New Yorker by Jonathan Franzen is Carbon Capture: Has climate change made it harder for people to care about conservation?  He writes that, in the face of climate change, many “conservation” organizations ignore immediate threats to immediate habitats, or even ignore the extinction of species when habitats disappear… unless the situation is connected to global warming. Birds in the here-and-now seem to be of little interest, compared to climate change.

Franzen argues for a conservation ethic that mirrors St. Francis of Assisi’s love of the birds and animals of here-and-now. He feels this is inevitably in opposition to concern with climate change.  He doesn’t have an overarching plan for the big picture, but he does want us to value the habitat and diversity we have.  (The word “nuclear” does not even appear in his article, as even a possibility for decreasing the rate of carbon dioxide growth in the atmosphere.)

My own view from Vermont is less important than the view from The New Yorker.  Still, I have watched wind turbines be built on ridges, sometimes destroying rare high-country wetlands. I have listened to the rhetoric of “We must do this to save the planet.”  To me, it sounded a little like one of the failed doctrines of the Vietnam War: “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”

I wrote a blog post about this: Farmers, City Folks and Renewable Energy (at ANS Nuclear Cafe). In this post, I wrote that if we could not get all the energy we needed from wind and sun, we would have to take this energy by turning the world into our energy farm.  I expressed my gratitude for every thermal power plant that meant that we didn’t need every bit of energy from every river and stream.  I was grateful for every waterfall that doesn’t have to host a hydro plant. The misty damp earth next to a small waterfall can grow trillium, not concrete infrastructure. In this post, I talked about my early membership in the Sierra Club, back when the club fought for creating wilderness areas, not for creating ridge-top wind farms.

Franzen and I had good ideas, but neither article was really a plan.

Ecomodernism: More of a plan!

I am delighted to say that there is now the beginning of a plan, just in time for Earth Day.

Ecomodernism.org consists of an international group of conservationists, whose mission statement includes the words: both human prosperity and an ecologically vibrant planet are not only possible, but also inseparable.  They aren’t just whistling in the dark, here, either.  Their plan is outlined in a thirty-page Ecomodernist Manifesto (a pdf), which you can download from their web site or the link to the pdf.



But what sleight-of-hand allows ecomodernists to claim that human prosperity and an ecologically vibrant planet are compatible?  Well, it is no sleight of hand.  The secret is density.  Many of the “destroy the village to save it” type ecologists envision a future of low energy consumption and dispersed dwellings in an imagined rural utopia.  In fact, this would be an ecological disaster of the first magnitude, as humans used every inch of the world’s surface to take energy and food from the environment. There would be no room for ecological vibrancy.

Luckily, humans are not going toward this rural future.  Worldwide, people are moving to cities. As the Ecomodernist Manifesto explains, this is a good thing.  The average city dweller takes up very little space, compared to someone in exurbia or on a farm. In a city, per person, land use and concrete use and gasoline use is far less. A city can be surrounded by greenbelts.  Farms would use every acre of that greenbelt. A city is people-dense.

An EcoModernist Manifesto envisions a future in which efficient low-carbon energy use and dense human settlements leave more of the planet for the growth of complex natural ecologies.  The energy use is crucial, and it must be low-carbon.  They look toward more efficient solar usage, and energy-dense nuclear power.

Intensifying many human activities — particularly farming, energy extraction, forestry, and settlement — so that they use less land and interfere less with the natural world is the key to decoupling human development from environmental impacts. – An Ecomodernist Manifesto

In terms of the ecomodernism, it is worth noting that my local nuclear plant took delivery on three semis worth of fuel every eighteen months.  In contrast, a local coal plant of about the same size took delivery of 40 100-ton carloads of coal, every single day. The coal plant required huge mines, huge transportation infrastructure, and huge clean-up facilities to scrub the stack of nitrogen, sulfur, mercury and particulates. And I don’t want to talk about the ash ponds and slurry ponds, okay? Even for a small coal plant, these ponds are huge.  In contrast, the storage for spent fuel for the nuclear plant is a concrete pad of about the same size as a convenience store.

Ecomodernism: Thinking Outside the Box

Ecomodernism, indeed, is thinking outside-the-box. It’s thinking “density.”

By encouraging densely settled cities, the earth can support a large human population and ecologically diverse rural areas.  This runs in contrast to the in-the-box thinking of ‘destroy-to-save’ ecologists, who imagine a future of spread-out homesteads, each burning wood to keep warm. (Though somehow these homesteads still have transport to get themselves to central schools and hospitals, and those buildings are well equipped with energy.)



By encouraging low-carbon energy such as advanced solar and nuclear, we can have a vibrant human culture as well as an ecologically diverse planet.

My description here is an overly-simplified summary of the Ecomodernist Manifesto.  I encourage you to read the entire short document.

For Earth Day, and for the earth, we have to think outside the box.  The 70s slogan “back to the land!” will not work for the future of humans or animals on this planet.  We need dense settlements and dense energy.

The Manifesto is only a beginning.  It is a new way of looking at the world.  It shows a direction that can work.  With thought and love for the planet, we can have an Earth worth sharing with our children and our grandchildren.

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fear-mongering delays decomm: Guest Post by Richard January

A recent editorial in the Keene Sentinel claimed that Vermont Yankee is still a danger to its neighbors.  The editorial, NRC backs Entergy bid to turn off emergency data system at Vermont Yankee, begins with the following sentence:

Once again the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission appears ready to dismiss the health and safety of citizens in favor of keeping change in the pocket of Entergy Nuclear Corp.

Several Vermont Yankee supporters wrote letters answering this editorial.  This blog is proud to feature some of their letters.

Editorial about Vermont Yankee paints unfair picture, doesn’t fit the facts

By Richard January, Jaffrey NH

While presuming to claim the high ground of public safety, your editorial (“NRC backs Entergy bid to turn off emergency data system at Vermont Yankee,” May 20) throws unnecessary, inaccurate accusations.

Your editorial paints a picture of federal neglect and corporate greed that doesn’t fit the facts. You say “the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission appears ready to dismiss the health and safety of citizens in favor of keeping change in the pocket of Entergy.” If federal regulators and the nuclear industry are as cozy as you suggest, how do you explain that in the 50-plus year history of U.S. nuclear power industry has there never been a single radiation-related fatality? Just lucky? Closer to home, how do you explain Vermont Yankee’s outstanding employee and public health and safety record, earned under the scrutiny of onsite NRC inspectors and a transparent, mandatory event reporting system? The obvious answer is that clearly someone – indeed a well-trained, committed, 42 year army of dedicated professionals  – has been doing the vital job of nuclear safety extremely well. Does the Sentinel truly think that, having protected plant workers and neighbors during 42 years of splitting atoms, the NRC and Vermont Yankee will now fail to safely store cooling spent fuel?

What’s really happening here is that the State of Vermont, having already been told in two federal courtrooms they do not have credible arguments to encroach on the federal prerogative of nuclear safety, is yet trying again. At least they are consistent, as are the Federal nuclear overseers who are saying, “thanks, but we are confident in our regulations and we are satisfied Vermont Yankee will be safe.” I for one will sleep safer at night in New Hampshire knowing spent fuel storage is overseen by skilled, impartial, well-funded, successful Federal inspectors, rather than from a state capitol with little technical expertise, but with a big chip on its shoulder and an even bigger chronic budget deficit.

Which brings us to the subject of money. Your charge of corporate greed is superficial and manifestly untrue. When Entergy bought the plant in 2002, it agreed to provide Vermont utilities with constant, 24/7 four-cent per kilowatt hour power (dirt cheap) for 10 years, and to share revenue on out of state sales – yielding about $20 million to utilities last year. Over the years Vermont Yankee has averaged millions of dollars of annual cash and donations of in-kind equipment and manhours to the nearby tri-state area. In the December 2013 settlement agreement, Vermont Yankee agreed to pay the State of Vermont tens of millions of dollars for state taxes, local economic development, and renewable power – after the company beat the State in Federal court and didn’t need to offer a financial olive branch of any kind or size.

As if this wasn’t already proof enough of high-road financial dealing, Entergy then agreed to privately borrow $145 million to pay for the transfer of its fuel from the spent fuel pool to dry cask storage, rather than withdraw it from the decommissioning trust fund! One important reason: if decommissioning is to happen promptly, the trust fund must be left as whole as possible and allowed to grow as fast as possible. And that’s why it makes no financial sense to pay $120 million to maintain the emergency response organization at operational-plant levels. But more important it also makes no safety sense.

The old emergency response system provided a necessary tri-state response in the event of a worst-case accident at an operational nuclear power plant. In other words – it’s inappropriate! Vermont Yankee’s reactor is inoperative, the fuel is cooling in the pool, and the threat levels and response times are just not the same. In particular the Emergency Response Data System (ERDS) that the Sentinel insists be maintained is to provide data regarding an operating nuclear reactor gone awry. That’s just not going to happen. Vermont Yankee's new, multi-million dollar plan is a robust and compliant emergency plan, keeps qualified emergency response officers onsite, provides for community notification, and also won’t go into effect for more than a year from now.

The professionals at the NRC, including the independent Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB), have, in the opinion of this retired nuclear engineer, made the safe, prudent call. Appeals may be filed. But I think the State of Vermont, and perhaps the Sentinel as well, might want to stand guard over the safe, prompt decommissioning of the plant, rather than play delaying games that do nothing for safety, cost everyone more, and push back decommissioning’s start date.

-----

Richard January recently retired from his position as Senior Lead Engineer at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station.  His 42 year career started at Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation designing new fossil and nuclear plants.  He worked 35 years at Vermont Yankee.