Saturday, January 08, 2011

Vermont Yankee--Entergy rolls out its strategy for relicensing

Entergy takes another step in its campaign to win the trust of Vermonters.

Here's the sequence of events, as reported in today's Brattleboro Reformer.

Step 1: April, 2010--find leaks in three of the actuators for Vermont Yankee's four safety relief valves. Fix the leaks during refueling.

Step 2:

In an analysis completed on Oct. 25, Yankee engineers concluded "there was firm evidence that the condition may have existed for a period of time greater than allowed by the technical specifications."

Step 3: Report the event to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on December 22.

Step 4: keep running those sappy "I am Vermont Yankee" ads on TV. Ignore the fact that nobody much cares how nice the employees of Vermont Yankee are, but we care very much about whether they are competent enough to run the plant and honest enough to be trusted with the public health and safety. I keep waiting for them to identify one of their employees as a fork and spoon operator from Sector 7g, but so far no luck.)

Good work for Reformer reporter Bob Audette to come up with this. The source for some of his analysis was an e-mail from Vermont Yankee. Apparently no explanation was available for why the information about the leaks, which VY had in April, or its analysis of the leaks, which they had in October, wasn't disclosed to the NRC until just before Christmas.

Oh, and if you're wondering, the collection of press releases and news updates on the Vermont Yankee web page doesn't say anything about this latest set of leaks. Not even in the section they call "We're all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts".

Maybe, in Entergy lexicon, "facts" means "stuff we couldn't keep covered up any longer".

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