NRC: Vermont Yankee Can Shut Down Radiological Monitoring System

Oct 1, 2015

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sided with Entergy Vermont Yankee on a decision to shut down a radiological monitoring system at its Vernon nuclear power plant.

Entergy had asked the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to allow it to cut back on the Emergency Response Data System, which Vermont said it needed to continue monitoring the radiological activity at the plant.

The board had initially approved Entergy's request and Vermont appealed the decision. In a 30-page ruling issued Thursday the NRC rejected Vermont's appeal.

The NRC ruling backs up Entergy's decision to shut down the Emergency Response Data System, a direct electronic data link between the plant and the agency.

Spokesman Martin Cohn said Entergy no longer needs the system as it continues decommissioning the plant.

"Today's decision by the NRC confirms the decision that we made with regard to not needing that particular notification system. And it also affirms for us that we are making the right decisions in terms of safely decommissioning Vermont Yankee," said Cohn.

"Today's decision by the NRC... affirms for us that we are making the right decisions in terms of safely decommissioning Vermont Yankee." - Martin Cohn, Entergy

  The state can appeal the decision in federal court.

The federal government is still deliberating on the company's plans to reduce the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone.

Vermont also appealed the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board's decision to allow Entergy to eliminate the zone around decommissioned plant. The NRC is expected to rule on that appeal before the end of this year.