Vermont official to testify at U.S. Senate hearing on decommissioning

Department of Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia will testify Wednesday at a U.S. Senate committee hearing in Washington on the decommissioning of nuclear reactors.

Recchia will testify before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works about issues surrounding the closing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is proposing that states within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant should be consulted by plant operators before they file a decommissioning plan with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“Currently a nuclear plant operator could adopt a decommissioning plan that ignores the needs and interests of the public and the state would have no recourse. That is fundamentally unfair and unreasonable,” Sanders said in a news release. “This is simply about ensuring that states have the opportunity to play a meaningful role in a decision that has enormous economic, environmental and community impacts.”

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., filed a similar measure in the House.

“States hosting nuclear power plants should have a seat at the table during the decommissioning process,” Welch said. “In any state, but particularly Vermont, decommissioning has numerous implications for the environment, economy, work force and tax base. This bill will ensure that Vermont is not on the outside looking in as the NRC makes key decisions affecting our state.”

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