Vermont newspaper recaps year of concerns at Vermont Yankee

In an article about the ongoing fight over relicensing the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, the Brattleboro Reformer published this rundown of the problems the station has faced in the last year:

The cleanup of a leak of tritiated water that was discovered in 2010 continued. Contaminated groundwater was extracted from the ground and levels in monitoring wells declined from highs of more than 2 million picocuries per liter of water.

In late 2011, the Vermont DOH discovered tritium in the river itself, which had migrated from under the plant, but at levels just above detectability.

Strontium was found in fish in the Connecticut River but the Vermont Department of Health and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services maintained that the levels were consistent with fish found around the world and were attributable to above-ground nuclear testing from the mid-20th century and the Chernobyl meltdown in the 1980s.

In October, a technician accidentally flipped the wrong circuit breakers and shut down a non-safety related cooling system. That same month, a technician accidentally disconnected a fuel line to a diesel generator meant to supply power to the plant’s cooling system when the reactor is offline. An electrical system in the plant’s recirculation pump shorted out in late September. Also in September a faulty chiller valve meant to keep safety equipment cool threatened the shutdown of the plant but was fixed before it reached a crisis point. Leaks were discovered in a steam trap, the high-pressure coolant injection system and in three of the plant’s four safety relief valves.

In November, the emergency sirens located in the EPZ around the plant accidentally sounded, scaring more than one person in the 10-mile safety zone.

Vermont Yankee has a single General Electric reactor with the same containment structure as the ones that failed at Fukushima.

Here’s a link to the article:



About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
This entry was posted in License extension, Reactor problems, tritium, Vermont Yankee and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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