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article imageVermont's power plant, two differing realities

By Martin Laine     Jun 18, 2010 in Politics
While the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has prepared a report praising its oversight of the trouble-plagued Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, a New Hampshire congressman is blasting the agency, calling its oversight “lax.”"
The Groundwater Task Force, made up of NRC staffers, was formed shortly after water contaminated with radioactive tritium was found leaking from pipes at the plant in January. The leaking continued for six weeks before the source was found and the leak stopped.
“The NRC is meeting its mission of protecting public health and safety, and the environment,” reads the statement.
Last month, Entergy Corp., owners of the Vernon, Vt., plant, also reported that its internal investigation of the massive leak found that its personnel responded properly to the incident.
But since the tritium leak, there have been several other, more minor but equally disturbing incidents at the plant.
Just a few weeks ago, a safety and security inspection was conducted at the plant prior to start-up after refueling. Then, only a few days after those inspections were completed, two more leaks were discovered.
U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, D-NH, wants some answers. He’s demanding to know why the leaks weren’t found during the inspections, and if they were known to plant officials, why the plant was allowed to re-start.
In a letter to NRC chairman Gregory B. Jaczko, Hodes this week said the NRC’s “lax oversight has allowed Vermont Yankee to continue operating despite a safety record featuring frequent, repeated radioactive leaks.”
More about Yankee, Nuclear regulatory commission, Rep hodes
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