Welch says Vermont Yankee storage exemption is unlikely

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(Host) A key Senate leader doesn’t want the Legislature to rush through an exemption for Entergy Nuclear’s plan to store radioactive waste at the Vermont Yankee site in Vernon. Entergy wants to store high level radioactive waste in concrete casks at the reactor site near the Connecticut River.

Entergy had hoped the Legislature would grant it the same exemption it gave Vermont Yankee’s previous owners from the state law requiring legislative approval of any additional radioactive waste. But the Attorney General’s office last week advised the Senate that the transfer of the exemption is not automatic, and Welch says lawmakers should carefully consider the matter.

(Welch) “The attorney general has basically said that the General Assembly has a seat at the table. And obviously there is a major question on this uprate that’s being proposed and dry cask storage is going to be relevant to the Vermont Yankee plans. And I don’t necessarily want to pre-judge this, but I also don’t want to rush to judgment. So I certainly want the appropriate committee in the Legislature with appropriate time to hear from all the parties that are concerned.”

(Host) Welch says that safety concerns at Vermont Yankee were highlighted by the disclosure that plant operators lost two pieces of a highly radioactive fuel rod. With the Legislature in its final weeks, Welch says it’s unlikely that the waste storage issue will be settled this year.

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