New England Coalition is in every way on the side of a safe and prompt decommissioning of Vermont Yankee.
NorthStar Group Services has signed a contract for preliminary work it says could hasten decommissioning and save $12 million. Regulators have not yet approved the sale.
NorthStar Group Services is now owned by the private equity firm J.F. Lehman & Co. The deal is said to have pumped more resources into NorthStar.
Entergy and NorthStar Group Services say worries about additional contamination at the Vernon nuclear plant and potential cost overruns are “pure speculation.”
Regulators issued a revised schedule that postpones a public meeting four months, to early January. Officials say the delay is necessary due to a time-consuming discovery process.
If the NorthStar plan happens to makes the future of the nuclear power industry more viable, no wonder anti-nuclear groups like the New England Coalition are concerned.
The New England Coalition wants to intervene in a federal review of the plant’s proposed sale, arguing the buyer does not have a good handle on radiological contamination.
If Vermont Yankee is sold, Washington, D.C.-based AREVA Nuclear Materials will be in charge of cutting up, packaging and transporting the reactor to a disposal site in Texas.
Texas-based Waste Control Specialists, which handles radioactive waste disposal for the Vernon nuclear plant and was to be a major player in its decommissioning, can’t be sold because of antitrust concerns.
Though his company faces increasing skepticism, NorthStar Group Services CEO Scott State says it is still committed to purchasing and decommissioning the shut-down Vernon nuclear plant.
If the buyer runs out of money to decommission the plant, “this would place public health, safety and the environment at risk,” according to the Public Service Department and the attorney general’s office.
The NDCAP should be commended for inviting the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NorthStar and Entergy to hear Vermonters’ concerns and support for NorthStar’s plan to decommission Vermont Yankee, and answer questions directly.
The change would downsize the Vernon nuclear plant’s protected area from 10.5 acres to 1.3 acres and save at least $1.2 million a month, Entergy says. Federal and state regulators are reviewing the request.
Transfer of the plant’s radioactive spent fuel into casks did not begin in April, as had been planned. The move is critical to the plant’s eventual sale.