Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Fuel Pools: Opponents Say the Darndest Things!

Attorney General Sorrell
My View of an Opponent Statement

Statement: We're gonna sue you if you use the wrong money to address our safety concerns!

Actual Statement: Attorney General Bill Sorrell said:

If Entergy elects to remove money from the fund, Sorrell said the state will take legal action.

"The fund" is the Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund.   Here's the longer quote with Sorrell's statement. This quote is from John Herrick's report in Vermont Digger-- Special Report: Despite Recent Agreement, State and Entergy Remain at Odds Over Funding for Dismantling Vermont Yankee

Entergy wants to tap the fund to move some of the roughly 3,000 total fuel assemblies at the Vernon plant from its cooling pool and into dry cask storage, a process known as spent fuel management.
Meanwhile, the state wants the fund reserved to tear down the plant.
Ultimately, the state and Entergy “agreed to disagree” on the matter.
Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, who helped to negotiate the agreement, said if Entergy taps the fund, the company could mothball the plant for 60 years, a process referred to as SAFSTOR — the worst-case scenario for Vermont officials.
If Entergy elects to remove money from the fund, Sorrell said the state will take legal action.
“The stakes are very significant,” Sorrell said in an interview. "Vermont is going to want a place — a legal opportunity to be heard on those requests in the future. So stay tuned."
Fuel Pool in France
Fuel assemblies
from many nuclear
Courtesy AREVA
My Comment:

As you can see by the comment stream on the Herrick article, one of the great concerns of nuclear opponents is that spent fuel stored in fuel pools is very dangerous.  Look at Fukushima!  Oh...right, nothing happened to the fuel in the pools at Fukushima.  Well, anyhow...

Opponent comment streams have been steady on the subject that Entergy had better move that fuel quickly to save us all from danger.

But, as you can see, moving the fuel quickly is not the main goal of our state government.  No, if Entergy uses the decommissioning funds to move fuel quickly, the state will sue them.

Let's set aside the fact that decommissioning funds are usually used for fuel management. Let's set aside the fact that such fuel-moving costs may well be reimbursed by the federal government.

Dry Cask Storage
Courtesy NRC
Let's just look at the fact that the state government doesn't see moving fuel as a high priority, compared to keeping the money in the decommissioning fund in order to tear down buildings. The state is threatening to sue if Entergy doesn't use money from somewhere besides the decommissioning fund in order to perform certain decommissioning activities.

It would be moderately amusing to watch the state, once again, try to tell the NRC what to do about nuclear safety or use of decommissioning funds. These recent threats of lawsuits show that the state has not learned any lessons about pre-emption.

Furthermore,  it seems to me that punishing Entergy for running a power plant in this state is very important to Governor Shumlin. It seems more important to him to punish Entergy than to have Entergy take an action (move fuel to dry casks) which many of Shumlin's supporters believe would increase their safety.

So AG Sorrell is going sue if Entergy gets NRC permission to use the decomm fund to move fuel, and then moves it?  On what exact grounds is he going to sue?  Is he going to argue it right up to the Supreme Court?

Wow.  Opponents say the darndest things.


Michael Mann said...

We may be looking at this the wrong way, if the goal is to line the pockets of lawyers regardless of the safety of the public, then this makes perfect sense. It also helps clarify the motive of the previous frivolous law suits by these same people. It seems they are bilking both the public funds and Entergy.

Thomas Clegg said...

Here was my answer to Bob Stannard and John Greenberg in the vermont digger. I don't know if they will print it. So I want you to see how I deal with them. Just a little different then you and Howard.
Bob (Stannard) your history is a little off. First Entergy DID NOT lie to the PSB. The question asked by the state legislator was are there buried pipes leaking radiation. The pipes that were leaking were underground but had a concrete vault around it. So it was the interpretation of buried pipe. The PSB was supposed to interview Entergy. The GOV. changed the venue on Entergy. So this wasn’t the agreement Entergy agreed on. So why did they ask Entergy this question? They could of went to the NRC and asked about the leak, but that wouldn’t embarrass Entergy in public. So I guess what I am saying is that honest Vermont government was trying to set up Entergy! Never mind the fact that the leak was in picocuries, that it never left the VY property, never went into the river, posed no health risk to the public . By the way tritium is a naturel occurring element in water. So I guess you will not drink water, nor take a bath or shower or go swimming in the summer or go out on your in-laws boat because you would be surrounded by tritium! Just before Entergy purchased VY I was at a meeting in Albany So were workers from VY I was talking about going to VY to help out during an outage. They warned me about THE UNITED SOCIALIST SOVIET REPUBLIC OF VERMONT. I wondering what they were talking about until I went to Brattleboro. That is when I understood what they were talking about. I was in a laundry mat in Brattleboro wearing my ask me why I support nuclear power button. Some woman saw my button made a phone call. A little while later some long haired guy shows up staring at me pacing back and forth in the back of the laundry mat. When I left and got in my van he followed me and cut me off at the triangle in Brattleboro. This was even before the leak that was discovered at the plant. So don’t try to tell me that everything was ok before Entergy purchased the plant. As for you John Greenberg just because you or one of your anti-nuke friends set fire to Entergy’s emergency planning building in Brattleboro does NOT make you an expert on tearing down building! Another friendly gesture by the friendly folks in Vermont . So how is the investigation going. Did the Governor tell the Brattleboro police to investigate but not that hard. I bet if they burned down the local doughnut shop the police would have the perpetrator apprehended within 2 hours and sentenced to hard labor within a week. The reason that Entergy might not begin tearing other buildings on the site is because the dust will cause a foreign material nightmare in the spent fuel pool. You want to keep the water in the spent fuel pool as clean as you can.

Anonymous said...

The fuss about SAFSTOR seems foolish to me. The spent fuel, which eventually must end up in dry casks, is there 'temporarily' until the US government buries it at Yucca Mountain, or some other site. The nuclear power stations are charged to maintain a fund for this. Does anyone seriously believe that a final waste dump will be set up in 60 years, or indeed in 600 years? It wouldn't surprise me if the spent fuel stayed in its 'temporary storage' long after the fall of the US. As Bismarck pointed out, 'Nothing is more permanent than a temporary solution.'