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NRC Schedules Hearing On VY Decommissioning Plan

Until the Department of Energy can provide a permanent nuclear waste repository, VY's spent fuel will remain in dry cask storage onsite.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wants comments on Entergy Nuclear’s plan for decommissioning Vermont Yankee. The agency will hold a public meeting on the plan in Brattleboro on Feb. 19.

Entergy filed the plan with the NRC shortly before the plant shut down permanently in December. It includes both a cost estimate for decommissioning and a schedule that shows the site’s final cleanup in the mid 2070s.

NRC Spokesman Neil Sheehan says his agency hasn’t received any comments yet. But state agencies and citizens filed many comments and questions on an earlier draft version of the report provided by Entergy.

The state wants to know, among other things, why Entergy’s calculations assume the Department of Energy will start removing stored spent fuel from the site in 2026 and finish by 2052. The NRC’s Neil Sheehan says no federal waste repository is currently on the horizon.  

"So they’re making some educated guesses about when the DOE will be ready to accept this fuel," Sheehan says.

Another area of dispute is Entergy’s petition to end emergency planning services around the plant. The NRC has extended the public comment period on that issue.

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