NRC OKs change to Vermont Yankee emergency planning

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has signed off on a request by Entergy (NYSE:ETR) to modify the emergency preparedness plan for the now-retired Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon, Vermont.

The change is effective in April 2016 and will reflect the plant’s decommissioning status.

The changes come in the form of exemptions that recognize that some NRC requirements might not be appropriate for nuclear plants that have permanently retired.

As a result, Vermont Yankee will not have a 10-mile emergency planning zone identified in its license. The plant will maintain an on-site emergency management plan and response abilities.

Vermont Yankee, a single-unit boiling water reactor (BWR) began operations in 1972. Entergy permanently retired the plant on Dec. 29, 2014.

While the plant had received a 20-year license renewal from NRC, a state board had declared that continued operatinn of the plant was not in the public good. Entergy, which had won a number of legal victories over the state, said it was closing the plant become of electric market economics.

All spent fuel has been permanently removed from the reactor and placed in the spent fuel pools for storage.

The plant would also still have to notify state officials in the event of an emergency declaration.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.