At the Vernon site of the aging Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, a top official from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the agency will thoroughly investigate a fresh round of cooling tower troubles. In Washington, D.C., Senator Bernie Sanders, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Commitee, met in his Senate office with NRC Chairman Dale E. Klein about the problem-plagued reactor operated by Entergy Corp. "What I told the chairman is that Vermonters are increasingly concerned about Entergy's ability to run a safe nuclear power plant. This is the second major problem within a year and that is two too many."
"In my view, the NRC must broaden its regulatory scope to ensure that inspections catch weaknesses before we get collapsed cooling towers or leaking pipes - not just afterwards - which is consistent with legislation that I introduced last year.
"Finally, if Yankee has to buy more expensive electricity to make up for their partial shutdown, that cost should be eaten by the Company, and not the ratepayers of the state of Vermont," Sanders said. Since the latest problem was discovered last week, power generation at the 620-megawatt plant has dipped to as little as 23 percent of capacity.
To read more about the legislation Sanders introduced on independent inspections of nuclear power plants, click here and here.
To view the Senators statement on this issue click here.