Release: Vt. Delegation Meets with Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman

WASHINGTON, January 26 - Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) met this afternoon with Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko regarding recent alarming reports about the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

The delegation's letter on January 22, 2010, requested a meeting and a full investigation into the radioactive leak detected at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

Chairman Jaczko stated that the commission is conducting a full investigation and is working to identify and remedy the leak, and is assessing whether Entergy officials misled regulators about the potential risk from underground piping at the plant.  They have dispatched two additional investigators to the plant.

Following the Capitol Hill meeting, the Vermont congressional delegation issued the following joint statement:

"We remain deeply troubled about the radioactive leak at the Vermont Yankee plant, and called on Chairman Jaczko and the NRC to use all authority granted to the NRC under federal law to investigate the cause of this leak and work to fix it. We also requested that the NRC determine if plant officials have misled regulators in any of their representations. It is unacceptable to have a radioactive leak at the Vermont Yankee plant at levels many times higher than federal standards. 

"Recent events have highlighted our ongoing concern about Entergy's commitment to safety and we will continue to press for rigorous federal oversight of the plant by the NRC, consistent with its mission to ensure the safe operation of nuclear power plant facilities. We thank Chairman Jaczko for his efforts to ensure a swift and comprehensive investigation into this matter."