Sample Letters to VT Public Service Board on Vernon Reactor Increase

July 28, 2004

Town of Gill, Massachusetts

Vote of Concern regarding Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power:

The Gill Selectboard, as a community adjacent to the power plant and within its evacuation zone, considers the engineering assessment to which NRC agreed as inadequate to provide protection to its citizenry. It is therefore the order of this board that a comprehensive Independent Safety Assessment be conducted to demonstrate the system can meet current regulatory standards for operating conditions as they now exist and in support of the proposed uprate of 120% power for the safety and security of its citizens.

It is furthermore the opinion of this Board that such review should include the emergency core cooling system, the containment system, design criteria, the design life of Vermont Yankee and a complete vertical slice of each system to be assured that the “Defense in Depth” concept is retained.

Additionally, the Gill Select board wishes to voice extreme dissatisfaction regarding the unacceptable fiasco where plant operators failed to securely monitor highly dangerous fuel rods.

The above concerns are to be conveyed to the NRC, the office of the Governor of Vermont and Massachusetts, State Sen. Stan Rosenberg, Rep. Chris Donelan, US Senators Kennedy and Kerry, Congressman John Olver, in addition to editorials in the Greenfield Recorder, Montague Reporter and Hampshire Gazette.

The Gill Select Board
dated July 28, 2004

VT Public Service Board
112 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620
Drawer 20
February 12, 2004

Dear Chairman Dworkin and Public Service Board Members:

The Gill-Montague Regional School Committee thanks you for the opportunity to go on record in opposition to the proposed uprate of the ENVY nuclear power plant in Vernon, VT. We feel it is unwise and irresponsible to approve an increase in power for the oldest and last remaining “Yankee” plant without a thorough and independent safety assessment, similar to the one conducted at Maine Yankee some years ago. The ENVY plant should also be required to meet all current safety standards and should not be “grandfathered” because it was built before newer safety requirements were on the books.

Our school district has 6 schools and hundreds of children within approximately 15 miles of the VT Yankee plant. One of these schools, Gill Elementary, is in the emergency evacuation zone. We are not satisfied that the evacuation plan is adequate to ensure the safety of our children even under current operating conditions, as it has never been fully tested. We are concerned that with a 20% hotter core, the safety margins for operator response time in the event of an accident may be reduced, and the evacuation area should be much larger. We are aware that two private pre-schools in our district have been overlooked in emergency evacuation simulations in the recent past, and find this inexcusable. ENVY has been so confident of approval of their uprate request that they started construction in anticipation of approval. We find this highly improper and cause for concern regarding the approval process.

Please carefully consider the potential costs of an accident at this aging, embrittled plant in full light of an independent safety assessment before coming to any conclusions on whether the uprate is in the interest of Vermonters, or we citizens in neighboring states.

Thank you for your considering our concerns.

The Gill-Montague Regional School Committee