Entergy says it’s ready to power boost at Vermont Yankee

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Entergy says it’s ready to power boost at Vermont Yankee


BRATTLEBORO — After completing an analysis of vibrations detected when Vermont Yankee boosted power earlier this month, Entergy Nuclear said it is ready to increase power production by another 5 percent.

In a 27-page document filed Monday with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Entergy claims its analysis and improved models show further problems should not occur either prior to, or at, the next power boost level.

The power uprate has been stalled at 105 percent since March 4, after excess vibrations on one of the plant’s main steam lines exceeded acceptable levels. VY operators sent the data from gauges on the line to General Electric, the company that built the 535-megawatt reactor.

“Unacceptable steam dryer performance is a condition that could challenge structural integrity and result in the generation of loose parts, cracks or tears in the steam dryer that result in excessive moisture carryover,” Entergy officials said in their filing with the NRC.

The NRC will now review Entergy’s evaluation to determine if the plant can safely increase production.

“We will now evaluate the submittal, something we expect to take several days to a week,” said Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the NRC, in an e-mail to the Guardian.

Company officials have said they are committed to safety, and will not increase power further until it can be done safely. Entergy has invested an estimated $60 million in uprate modifications at the Vernon reactor, and stands to earn an estimated $20 million in annual profits from the sale of increased power, according to state officials.

Posted March 28, 2006