State officials have named six members to a new panel that will oversee the decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
The 19-member panel was created to help assure transparency, communication and citizen involvement as Vermont Yankee is dismantled. The nuclear plant is scheduled to stop operating in December.
The decommissioning panel will replace the seven-member Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel, or VSNAP, and include current VSNAP members. The new members were appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin, House Speaker Shap Smith and Senate President Pro John Campbell.
Putney Representative David Deen, the long-time river steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council, was among the appointees. Deen says the panel has an important responsibility.
"Its charge going forward is to have citizens oversight of the decommissioning of a major facility here in the state of Vermont that has some of the most complex problems associated with it, none the least of which is the disposal of spent nuclear fuel that will likely be stored onsite for some time," Deen said. "And we’ve got to get it right."
The panel will advise the state on decommissioning issues and serve as a conduit for public input and information. It will monitor reports from Entergy, the plant’s owner, on the decommissioning trust fund, site assessments and other issues that will play a key role in how decommissioning moves forward.
The panel will include two representatives from Entergy Vermont Yankee. Other appointees include Kate O’Connor of Brattleboro, Jim Matteau of Westminster, musician and activist Derrik Jordan of Putney. Jim Tonkovich of Wilder and Martin Langeveld of Vernon have also been appointed. The group’s first meeting will be held in Brattleboro on September 25.