Vermont Yankee

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission lowered its safety rating for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant last year after the facility mistakenly sent a piece of machinery with abnormally high radiation readings to a Pennsylvania plant," The Burlington Free Press reported. Documents on file with the NRC showed that equipment packaged in a large container and shipped by truck had more than four times that acceptable hourly exposure to radiation, according to the article published on Sunday. On Mond

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission lowered its safety rating for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant last year after the facility mistakenly sent a piece of machinery with abnormally high radiation readings to a Pennsylvania plant," The Burlington Free Press reported. Documents on file with the NRC showed that equipment packaged in a large container and shipped by truck had more than four times that acceptable hourly exposure to radiation, according to the article published on Sunday. On Monday, Senator Bernie Sanders renewed his call for an independent safety inspection of the plant. In a letter to the commission chairman, the senator said the report "only heightens anxiety that Vermont Yankee suffers from safety defects."

Sanders is the sponsor of legislation to provide for independent safety assessments of nuclear power plants when utilities seek to extend licenses, boost power output at aging plants or at plants with a history of safety violations. Under the bill, power plant operators seeking to extend licenses would be subject to special inspections at the request of the governor of a state where a plant is located, or by the governor of a neighboring state affected by a plant's operation. State utility regulators also could seek an independent review. Safety reviews also could be requested when utilities seek to generate more power than a reactor was originally designed to produce. Senator Patrick Leahy cosponsored Sanders' bill and Representative Peter Welch introduced companion legislation in the House.

To read The Burlington Free Press article, click here.

To read The Burlington Free Press editorial, click here.