NRC requests Vermont Yankee flood review

Brattleboro, May 15, 2012 — The owner of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon has one year to complete a reevaluation of flooding hazards at the reactor site.

According to a letter issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Entergy, the owner of Yankee, the company has until March 12, 2013, to submit the review. The NRC issued the same letter to 21 other power plant licensees.

The purpose of the request is to “gather sufficient information to enable the NRC staff to determine whether the nuclear plant licenses under your responsibility should be modified, suspended, or revoked,” according to the letter.

Yankee is considered a Category 1 nuclear power plant, which has already had a flooding hazard that was evaluated with present-day methodologies and guidance.

Because of that, a review should require relatively little additional effort, according to the letter.

Following the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in March 2011, the NRC initiated a number of reviews to determine if similar power plants are vulnerable to similar natural disasters — including earthquakes and floods.

The Yankee site was reviewed several years ago prior to the Public Service Board’s approval of dry cask storage of spent nuclear fuel outside of the reactor building.

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