Release: Vermont Delegation Calls on Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Reconsider Closed-Door Meeting

WASHINGTON, March 30 - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) today called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reconsider its decision to hold a closed-door meeting with local, state and federal officials in Keene, N.H., on April 14.

The Vermont delegation's letter is copied below:

March 30, 2010

The Honorable Gregory B. Jaczko

Chairman

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Washington, D.C. 20555-0001

Dear Chairman Jaczko:

We write to follow up on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's invitation to participate in a closed-door "Government-to-Government" meeting on April 14 in Keene, New Hampshire.

We are committed to open and transparent government and to honoring both the letter and spirit of Vermont's open meeting laws.  Avoiding Vermont's open meeting laws by holding this meeting in New Hampshire will only add to the growing public skepticism about the handling of oversight at Vermont Yankee, and could curtail participation from Vermont officials.

While we recognize that the discussion of information relating to security considerations often requires confidential briefings, the discussion of broader issues surrounding this facility is of great interest to Vermonters and is a discussion that should be conducted in a public setting.

We urge you to reconsider, and to hold the April 14 meeting in Vermont so that Vermont's federal, state and local officials can fully participate. We look forward to hearing from you regarding this request.

Sincerely,

Patrick Leahy              Bernard Sanders               Peter Welch

U.S. Senator               U.S. Senator                     U.S. Representative