Storage Questioned At Vt. Yankee, Other Plants

Oct 7, 2013

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is being asked to restrict storage of highly radioactive nuclear waste in spent fuel pools like the one at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

The commission heard recently from two authors of a 2003 report saying densely packed fuel pools create a heightened danger of fire and a catastrophic release of radioactivity. They urged fuel older than five years be stored in dry concrete casks.

A third author of the report was Allison Macfarlane, then a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and now chairwoman of the NRC.

A Vermont Yankee spokesman says about 85 percent of the waste in the plant's spent fuel is more than 5 years old.

The Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry group, says it believes the risks are small.