Published on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 by Reuters
by Scott DiSavino
While the Obama administration advocates a nuclear revival to reduce dependency on foreign oil and greenhouse gas emissions, opponents of Vermont Yankee have used the leak to show Entergy is not operating the reactor safely and that it license should not be renewed.
Entergy applied with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2006 to renew the 40 year operating license for the plant, which began operations in 1972, for an additional 20 years.
"The effort to win a 20-year renewal of
"We remain determined to prove our case to the legislature, state officials and the
If the vote is upheld, it would be the first time in more than 20 years that a state legislature has acted to shut down a reactor.
In 1989, Sacramento Municipal Utility District in
Since 2007, the NRC has received applications to build 28 new reactors, which emit no greenhouse gases.
WHAT IS TRITIUM?
Tritium is a mildly radioactive isotope of hydrogen that occurs naturally in very small amounts in groundwater. It is also a byproduct of power production in nuclear plants. But the NRC said the leak reported at
Entergy said there has been no tritium levels found in drinking water wells or the
The 620 megawatt Vermont Yankee power plant, located near the Connecticut River in Vernon in Windham County, about 140 miles west-northwest of Boston, can power about 620,000 homes.
"The plant is a vital, safe and reliable source of clean power for Vermont and the rest of New England, and we will continue communicating to the public the substantial economic and environmental benefits of keeping the plant operating beyond 2012," Entergy said.
Tritium contamination, however, is not unique to
Over the past few years, the NRC has investigated tritium releases at several reactors, including Entergy's Indian Point and FitzPatrick in New York and Exelon Corp's Oyster Creek in New Jersey and Braidwood in Illinois.
The 104 nuclear power reactors in the
(Additional reporting by Chris Baltimore in
© 2010 Reuters
URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/02/24-11
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