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Shumlin seeks Yankee oversight group

February 1, 2011

CONTACT: Susan Allen

802-828-3333

Feb. 1, 2011

 

Gov. Peter Shumlin calls for Vermont Yankee Reliability Oversight Committee, citing tritium leaks

MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin, citing the on-going discovery of tritium leaks at the plant, instructed the Vermont Department of Public Service to appoint a Vermont Yankee Reliability Oversight Committee.

“I’ve asked the Department of Public Service to organize a Reliability Oversight Committee to provide, in these coming critical months, additional expertise on oversight of Vermont Yankee issues within the state’s jurisdiction,” Gov. Shumlin said. “I am deeply concerned with Vermont Yankee’s lack of transparency about serious problems that continue to be discovered around the plant.”

Shumlin continued, “I learned two weeks ago about another well with a tritium hit, and this one is not near the plume we already knew about, but 150 feet away. Then, last Friday, I was told that yet another well had a tritium hit. Vermont Yankee had the samples pulled that showed the new tritium hits, but didn’t test those samples for a few weeks because a piece of equipment was broken.”

Gov. Shumlin noted that no investigation occurred during those weeks, while tritium levels rose. Plant officials participated in hearings at the Public Service Board about the leaks the Shumlin administration learned about in January of last year, while the samples showing new tritium hits were sitting untested, unknown to anyone at the state, the Governor said.

In addition, the Governor has asked Yankee officials to disclose an investigation plan to ensure they are taking adequate steps to deal with the escalating situation.

In a related announcement, the Governor has appointed Montpelier attorney Richard Saudek and Vermont Law School professor Peter Bradford to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission.

Saudek, who is a partner in the law firm of Cheney, Brock & Saudek, P.C., has advised legislative committees on issues involving Vermont Yankee and its owner, Entergy Corp. Saudek has also served as Chair of the Vermont Department of Public Service, and as Vermont’s first Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service.

Bradford is an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School, where he teaches ‘Nuclear Power and Public Policy.’ He also teaches utility regulation, restructuring, nuclear power and energy policy. Bradford served on the Public Oversight Panel for the Comprehensive Vertical Assessment of Vermont Yankee, and has served as an expert witness on investment in new nuclear power.

 

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