Vermont Press Releases

Groups to tell NRC that Entergy’s financial problems are a nuclear emergency

May 2, 2013

Tim Judson, Citizens Awareness Network: (212) 729-1169

Jessica Azulay, Alliance for a Green Economy: (315) 480-1515

Deb Katz, Citizens Awareness Network: (413) 339-5781

Chris Williams Vermont Citizens Action Network (802) 929-1074

Mary Lampert, Pilgrim Watch: (781) 934-0389

What: Concerned residents of New York, Vermont and Massachusetts will testify in front of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission Petition Review Board about their petition for emergency enforcement action against Entergy Nuclear Operations and its subsidiaries. The petitioners will present the case that Entergy is in violation of NRC regulations by operating two Northeast Reactors at a financial loss. They will make the case that the company’s economic problems increase the likelihood of major nuclear accidents at the James A FitzPatrick plant in Oswego, New York and Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon, Vermont, and that the NRC must suspend operations at these reactors. They will also request that the NRC investigate the Pilgrim nuclear reactor in Plymouth, Massachusetts to see if it, too, is in violation of the NRC’s financial qualifications requirements.

Where: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, One White Flint, HQ-OWFN-16B4, Rockville. Maryland

Video and audio available remotely:

When: Tuesday. May 7,2013, 1 :00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time)

Background: NRC regulations require nuclear companies to be “financially qualified” to operate and maintain nuclear reactors safely. Recent analyses by the financial services company UBS have stated that Entergy is will be operating FitzPatrick and Vermont Yankee reactors at a financial loss for the foreseeable future. UBS additionally reports that Pilgrim may also be losing money. Citizens Awareness Network (Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York), Alliance for a Green Economy (New York), Pilgrim Watch (Massachusetts), and Vermont Citizens Action Network (Vermont) filed a joint emergency enforcement petition on March 18, 2013 challenging Entergy’s financial qualifications to operate the three reactors based on the UBS analyses.

The petition points to the inherent conflict between nuclear safety and Entergy’s short-term bottom line at its economically troubled reactors. Entergy is likely reluctant to spend money on equipment maintenance and replacement as well as safety improvements. It points to a string of recent equipment failures and emergency shutdowns at the plants and asks the NRC to determine whether there is a connection between these failures and Entergy’s economic issues.

For more background and the full petition, see:

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