Release: Vt. Delegation Calls On The Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Investigate Vermont Yankee

WASHINGTON, January 22 – Vermont’s congressional delegation today wrote Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko to ask him to move forward on a thorough investigation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant regarding recent alarming reports about the plant.  Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) wrote the following letter:

January 22, 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 our letter of January 15, in light of further alarming news regarding contamination on the grounds of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

Since our initial letter, the levels of tritium found in the surface water leak are reported to have tested at up to 2 million picocuries per liter, according to an NRC spokesman, or 100 times the safe drinking water level prescribed by EPA.  Further, a state investigator reported last night that a trace amount of cobalt-60, a more dangerous radioactive isotope, has been found in an enclosed concrete trench at the nuclear power plant. 

These recent developments coupled with our ongoing concerns about Entergy Vermont Yankee's commitment to safety and forthrightness with the public and regulatory and safety agencies, force us to reiterate our request for an immediate and thorough investigation.  This investigation should not only determine whether there was an attempt by Entergy Vermont Yankee to mislead state officials regarding the plant's safety and underground piping, but also provide a complete and accurate assessment of the full scope of the contamination at and near the plant as soon as possible. 

We remain committed to assisting Vermont and the NRC to ensure that the Entergy Vermont Yankee plant meets its safety and disclosure obligations.  This immediate and thorough assessment of the full extent of contamination is critical to our meeting that commitment.

We look forward to discussing the recent findings and your investigation into them with you at your earliest convenience.  Thank you.