Despite calls to slow down, NRC grants Vermont Yankee license renewal

Mar 21, 2011 Full story: Boston Herald 343

ONTPELIER, Vt. - Federal regulators today gave the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant a 20-year license renewal, despite calls for reconsideration following the nuclear disaster in Japan.

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The NRC is a joke

Grantham, NH

#1 Mar 21, 2011
For anyone who had lingering questions about the NRC being a shameless, incompetent, arrogant, rich boys club, bent on amassing huge fortunes for themselves and their friends in the nuclear industry, where those who are supposed to be regulating, profit from the industry and vise versa, repeatedly sacrificing safety for profit, ignoring "lessons learned", common sense, the warnings of the scientific community and now, even a sence of human decency, here is your answer.

They could not even take an extra week to learn from Japan's horrible tragedy, in nuclear plants of very similar design.

This action is an affront to the Japanese people, the American way and indeed everyone who thought that it was the NRC's job to look out for their safety in nuclear matters.
Moses

Hoosick Falls, NY

#2 Mar 22, 2011
The NRC is a joke wrote:
For anyone who had lingering questions about the NRC being a shameless, incompetent, arrogant, rich boys club, bent on amassing huge fortunes for themselves and their friends in the nuclear industry, where those who are supposed to be regulating, profit from the industry and vise versa, repeatedly sacrificing safety for profit, ignoring "lessons learned", common sense, the warnings of the scientific community and now, even a sence of human decency, here is your answer.
They could not even take an extra week to learn from Japan's horrible tragedy, in nuclear plants of very similar design.
This action is an affront to the Japanese people, the American way and indeed everyone who thought that it was the NRC's job to look out for their safety in nuclear matters.
Do you want to tell us how Vernon is going to be the site of a tsunami?
The NRC is a joke

Grantham, NH

#3 Mar 22, 2011
Tsunami? No, but a flood, an earthquake above 6.4, a fire, a terrorist attack, the loss of the Vernon dam, these a combination of these and other events that are "beyond design basis" are all quite possible.
The GE mark 1 containment at Vermont Yankee, replete with a virtually unprotected, overpacked used fuel pool, very similar to the reactors in Japan, is recognized as a faulty and potentially dangerous design the world around. It has been since it went online some 40 years ago.
Those concerns only multiplied when the criminal element decided to use commercial aircraft like they were guided missles.
When the Ford Pinto was shown to blow up in a fender bender, people burned to death and regulations changed.
The Mark 1 is the Model T of the nuclear plant world, with a Pinto style fuel arrangement, it would be clearly unacceptable to build today. Learn more here:http://allthingsnuclear.o rg/
Just like the Japanese, we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into the cost benifit analysis trap, it was not a tsunami that caused the plants in Japan to spew radiation like a giant, poisonous burning Pinto, it was the failure of those in charge of protecting the public to acknowledge the consequences of a week long station blackout in a Mark 1 reactor.
Something as inevitable as a large solar flare, of the kind which could be produced in this coming solar cycle, could produce those same disastrous results at Vermont Yankee.
The NRC's rubberstamp of this half century old, flawed and leaking reactor only serves to promote the failure of a regulating body who now only seems to answer to the interests of the buisnesses it is supposed to be regulating, with impunity.
The NRC is a joke

Grantham, NH

#4 Mar 22, 2011
The link didn't translate, learn more about the Mark 1 and it's fuel arrangement here:
http://allthingsnuclear.org/
Moses

Hoosick Falls, NY

#6 Mar 23, 2011
The NRC is a joke wrote:
Tsunami? No, but a flood, an earthquake above 6.4, a fire, a terrorist attack, the loss of the Vernon dam, these a combination of these and other events that are "beyond design basis" are all quite possible.
The GE mark 1 containment at Vermont Yankee, replete with a virtually unprotected, overpacked used fuel pool, very similar to the reactors in Japan, is recognized as a faulty and potentially dangerous design the world around. It has been since it went online some 40 years ago.
Those concerns only multiplied when the criminal element decided to use commercial aircraft like they were guided missles.
When the Ford Pinto was shown to blow up in a fender bender, people burned to death and regulations changed.
The Mark 1 is the Model T of the nuclear plant world, with a Pinto style fuel arrangement, it would be clearly unacceptable to build today. Learn more here:http://allthingsnuclear.o rg/
Just like the Japanese, we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into the cost benifit analysis trap, it was not a tsunami that caused the plants in Japan to spew radiation like a giant, poisonous burning Pinto, it was the failure of those in charge of protecting the public to acknowledge the consequences of a week long station blackout in a Mark 1 reactor.
Something as inevitable as a large solar flare, of the kind which could be produced in this coming solar cycle, could produce those same disastrous results at Vermont Yankee.
The NRC's rubberstamp of this half century old, flawed and leaking reactor only serves to promote the failure of a regulating body who now only seems to answer to the interests of the buisnesses it is supposed to be regulating, with impunity.
Ok a flood. How deep a flood would they have to have to affect VY?

I thought VY was not in a flood plain as it is located 40 feet abovet he 500 year flood level.
Moses

Hoosick Falls, NY

#7 Mar 23, 2011
The NRC is a joke wrote:
Tsunami? No, but a flood, an earthquake above 6.4, a fire, a terrorist attack, the loss of the Vernon dam, these a combination of these and other events that are "beyond design basis" are all quite possible.
The GE mark 1 containment at Vermont Yankee, replete with a virtually unprotected, overpacked used fuel pool, very similar to the reactors in Japan, is recognized as a faulty and potentially dangerous design the world around. It has been since it went online some 40 years ago.
Those concerns only multiplied when the criminal element decided to use commercial aircraft like they were guided missles.
When the Ford Pinto was shown to blow up in a fender bender, people burned to death and regulations changed.
The Mark 1 is the Model T of the nuclear plant world, with a Pinto style fuel arrangement, it would be clearly unacceptable to build today. Learn more here:http://allthingsnuclear.o rg/
Just like the Japanese, we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into the cost benifit analysis trap, it was not a tsunami that caused the plants in Japan to spew radiation like a giant, poisonous burning Pinto, it was the failure of those in charge of protecting the public to acknowledge the consequences of a week long station blackout in a Mark 1 reactor.
Something as inevitable as a large solar flare, of the kind which could be produced in this coming solar cycle, could produce those same disastrous results at Vermont Yankee.
The NRC's rubberstamp of this half century old, flawed and leaking reactor only serves to promote the failure of a regulating body who now only seems to answer to the interests of the buisnesses it is supposed to be regulating, with impunity.
VY is located above the Vernon Dam.
The NRC is a joke

Grantham, NH

#8 Mar 23, 2011
Well, the dry cask storage pad sits just a foot and a half above the "maximum probable flood level", note the use of the word "probable", rather than "possible", mother nature can suprise us with things like cold tempuratures followed by heavy snows, followed by warm temperatures and heavy rain, which as anyone from the area can tell you gives you ice jams. They can raise the already high floodwater very rapidly and bring down trees, buildings and huge boulders which further compound the problem.
And what of the dams upriver? They are not exactly spring chickens now are they?
What of the Vernon dam? Would Vermont Yankee still be able to draw enough water from the river if it let go?
The failure of imagination in compounding the cumulitive effects of something like, ice jams, floodwater and a three day ice storm, is the same sort of tragically flawed thinking found in Japan.
Bottom line, if your nuclear plant relies on enormous and continuous amounts of both water and power just to not permanently contaminate a large area around the plant, it should be declared unfit for operation and shut down immediately.

Moses

Hoosick Falls, NY

#9 Mar 25, 2011
The NRC is a joke wrote:
Well, the dry cask storage pad sits just a foot and a half above the "maximum probable flood level", note the use of the word "probable", rather than "possible", mother nature can suprise us with things like cold tempuratures followed by heavy snows, followed by warm temperatures and heavy rain, which as anyone from the area can tell you gives you ice jams. They can raise the already high floodwater very rapidly and bring down trees, buildings and huge boulders which further compound the problem.
And what of the dams upriver? They are not exactly spring chickens now are they?
What of the Vernon dam? Would Vermont Yankee still be able to draw enough water from the river if it let go?
The failure of imagination in compounding the cumulitive effects of something like, ice jams, floodwater and a three day ice storm, is the same sort of tragically flawed thinking found in Japan.
Bottom line, if your nuclear plant relies on enormous and continuous amounts of both water and power just to not permanently contaminate a large area around the plant, it should be declared unfit for operation and shut down immediately.
Good thing you live in Claremont.
The NRC is a joke

Grantham, NH

#10 Mar 25, 2011
Yea, the wind never blows to the north, right?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...

While Vermont Yankee's flawed containment will probably not outright explode like Chernobyl, a fuel fire in it's virtually uncontained used fuel pool might have similar, if not more wide spread damage.
The NRC is a joke

Grantham, NH

#11 Apr 4, 2011
The greatest threat to citizens living around a nuclear plant might not even be mother nature. The threat of 21st-century cyber weapons are just as terrifying.
Listen closely to Ralph Langner as he speaks at TED about Stuxnet:
http://www.ted.com/talks/ralph_langner_cracki...
At least earthquakes and floods have some sort of historical record that we could use to try and predict what nature might have in store for us. This sort of threat seems much less predictable.
Moses

Hoosick Falls, NY

#12 Apr 5, 2011
The NRC is a joke wrote:
The greatest threat to citizens living around a nuclear plant might not even be mother nature. The threat of 21st-century cyber weapons are just as terrifying.
Listen closely to Ralph Langner as he speaks at TED about Stuxnet:
http://www.ted.com/talks/ralph_langner_cracki...
At least earthquakes and floods have some sort of historical record that we could use to try and predict what nature might have in store for us. This sort of threat seems much less predictable.
More fear mongering. Do you really believe this? If you do you should be building a bunker and arming yourself.
The NRC is a joke

Simsbury, CT

#13 Apr 16, 2011
What is so unbelievable? Continuing to run this dangerously souped up, embrittled, leaking, vulnerable old poison factory is incredibly irresponsible and reckless.
The NRC is a joke

Simsbury, CT

#14 Apr 18, 2011
"(Reuters)- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission exists to police, not promote, the domestic nuclear industry -- but diplomatic cables show that it is sometimes used as a sales tool to help push American technology to foreign governments."
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/18/us-...
The NRC is a joke

Simsbury, CT

#15 Apr 19, 2011
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversight called too lenient

"Internal government watchdogs and outside experts alike say the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is too lenient on the industry it is charged with regulating, often making decisions based on the industry’s profit margins rather than safety. "
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0...
tjostemj

Clearlake, CA

#16 Apr 19, 2011
If the NRC is too lenient, how do you account for the fact that the safety record of the nuclear power industry is the envy of all other industries. It is second to none!
The NRC is a joke

Simsbury, CT

#17 Apr 19, 2011
The Japanese used to say that about their nuclear regulator too tjostemj. With the veil of secrecy and the robust escalating pro-nuclear propaganda campain in this country, the people do not know the half of how lucky we have been, or how poorly the private sector has been managing our rapidly aging, leaky fleet of outdated reactors.
These machines have incredible potential to harm whole cities full of people and lay waste to large parcels of valuable real estate. They should not be run by the lowest bidder, especially under the self regulation scheme they have apparently set up for themselves through years of lobbying and rule changing petitions.
tjostemj

Clearlake, CA

#18 Apr 19, 2011
Fukushima nuclear plants have released significant radioactive fall-out. This may be a blessing to those living in the immediate area in the long run. Since we live in a radiation deprived world they may benefit from the additional radiation. Radiation induces protective mechanisms that result in a reduced incidence of cancer. Radiation hormesis also produces a more robust immune system that leads to better health and a longer life. Japanese survivors of the A bombs are living longer than the Japanese population that was not radiated by the bombs. Even among 86,000+ bomb survivors the increase in the cancer rate was less than 1%.

No one has died from the radiation exposure at Fukushima and it is highly unlikely that anyone will, including the workers who receive radiation burns. No one has exceeded the 25 REM annual international exposure limit. It would be highly unlikely that the utility company would allow anyone to exceed that limit. The eyes of the world are watching. Corporations are not always benevolent, but their self-interest is not served by being careless about radiation exposure when they are in the spotlight. They are perhaps being overly cautious.

Remember that during the lifespan of a coal plant the coal smoke and fly ash shortens the lives of
3000 people. We have 104 reactors that produce 20% of our electric power and no one has died from their radiation in 50 years. The evidence is clear that we are foolishly spending billions of dollar on radiation safety to prevent even one death. We would be doing a much greater good if we invested that resource where thousands of lives could be saved. The EPA found that 23,000 lives annually are shortened 14 year prematurely by our coal power plant pollution. I would vote for 250 more nuclear power plants to replace all the coal plants and I want less NRC rules.
The NRC is a joke

Simsbury, CT

#19 Apr 20, 2011
That is just absurd propaganda. Radiation exposure is not safe and I certainly would not call TEPCO "overly cautious" sending workers into the failing, highly radioactive Fukushima plant without dosimeters or even waterproof boots, while dumping highly contaminated water directly into the ocean.
Assuming that "it is highly unlikely that anyone" will die from radiation from the plant is absurd as well. The radiological release is on par with Chernobyl which is still ticking off cancer deaths:
http://allthingsnuclear.org/post/4704112149/h...
If you want to start doing human lives VS amount of power produced calculations, you will have to include all of those people affected by the mining, enrichment and production of nuclear fuel. These poisoned gifts like radioactive land, water, tailings and huge stockpiles of radioactive byproducts will keep on giving for a long time to come.
This leads me to my next point in your flawed equation, it is nearly impossible to predict how many people might be killed by the deadly used fuel that comes out of nuclear plants. It will remain highly toxic for ten to a hundred THOUSAND years.
If every cask needs to be replaced every one hundred years (which is generously long), then the contents of every one of the thousands of casks will need to be handled a minnimum of ten thousand times.
Just storing, guarding, handling and caring for this waste for so long is bound to have some collateral human damage. In my opinion, no one in their right mind with half a brain could honestly predict the future of our country, or the stability of the human race for such an enormous length of time. It is patently irresponsible to continue to generate this dangerous, exspensive to manage, long lived waste.
tjostemj

Clearlake, CA

#20 Apr 20, 2011
The Union of Concerned Scientists is not a creditable source of information.
Oprahbama

Pompano Beach, FL

#22 Apr 20, 2011
tjostemj wrote:
The Union of Concerned Scientists is not a creditable source of information.
Neither is Oprah Winfrey, and she managed to get an inexperienced, unqualified person elected to the presidency.

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