There's a meeting of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizen Advisory Panel (NDCAP) on Wednesday night in Brattleboro. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Quality Inn and Conference Center, on Vernon Road in Brattleboro. Here's a link to the agenda.
As you may note, this is an unusual meeting because a representative from NRC will be there. NDCAP itself will continue to have meetings forever, though the Rockies may crumble and Gibraltar may tumble...no, not that long. Wrong song.
The meeting tomorrow night may well be an important meeting, because it is during the period when the NRC is taking comments on the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Plan, the Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report, aka the PSDAR. And a representative from the NRC will be there, which is always quite a draw for the opponents. (See my post on one of the NRC-sponsored meetings: The Politics of Intimidation.)
Update Note: I originally wrote that NDCAP would have "monthly" meetings forever. Howard Shaffer corrected this. He informed me that NDCAP has had monthly meetings recently, since so much is going on, but the group is only required to have four meetings a year. So they will have meetings forever, but not monthly meetings.
Sources of Information, and What to Say
Vermont Yankee has an excellent web site on decommissioning, including links to the PSDAR. The Public Service Department also a good site, with links to presentations at NDCAP meetings. And a big Hat's Off to Howard Shaffer, for his submission to NDCAP. There were two presentations to NDCAP by nuclear opponent groups, and Howard also has a presentation. (See December 18 meeting notes.)
The bad news is you can spend a week reading pages and pages of information about this meeting. But, if you go to the meeting, you will only get probably two minutes to say anything at all. What might you say?
My advice would be to say that with the plant shut down, and all fuel in the pool, the emergency planning zone (EPZ) no longer needs to be in effect at the time when the NRC says it doesn't need to be in effect. In other words, the EPZ can be shut down in early 2016.
Well, it isn't a controversy. All nuclear people (plant, NRC etc) agree that when the fuel has been in the fuel pool for about a year, it becomes too cool to start a fire. At that point, the emergency planning zone no longer needs to be funded. However, the opponents are eager to have all nuclear plants spend as much money as possible and keep the emergency planning and so forth in place forever.
Or at least, they think that the EPZ should be in place until Gibraltar tumbles and...wait. Wrong song! No, actually, it may be the right song.
The VY Decommissioning page includes an analysis of the public comments received by the Public Service Board about the PSDAR. You will note that the majority of the comments:
- Request EPZ until all fuel is in dry casks
- Request EPZ until all spent fuel is offsite, maybe in Yucca Mountain
- Request EPZ expansion to fifty miles.
Will I Be At the Meeting?
Probably not. I have to admit that I have lost my taste for watching people walk up to the microphone and endlessly repeat that they are terrified about the fuel pool. The plant is not operating. They won, and I don't want to watch them anymore. Also, I have lost my taste for being intimidated, and the presence of someone from the NRC may lead the opponents to having more fun (so to speak) than a normal meeting.
However, Howard Shaffer said he may go, and I may go also. Shaffer is a real trooper, filing testimony to partially balance the testimony of the opponents. I haven't decided about this meeting. Luckily, the blizzard didn't really blizzard here, the way it blizzarded in Massachusetts. So I could go, I guess.
A lot to think about.