NorthStar leader, engineering consultant talk future of Vt. Yankee

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — The head of NorthStar Group Services described Thursday night the standards proposed for the future of the now-shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear site in Vernon.

Scott State, chief executive officer for North Star, which is proposing to buy Vermont Yankee from Entergy, described for the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel plans to release the site for industrial or light industrial use, even though two storage pads would remain nearby for storage of spent high-level nuclear waste until accepted at a federal repository.

NorthStar, whose plans are under review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as well as the Vermont Public Utilities Commission, plans to have the plant demolished, with cleanup completed by 2026, decades ahead of what was originally projected by Entergy.

State said NorthStar has proposed a radiological dose limit for the property of 15 millirems per year, which would be significantly lower than the federally accepted 25 mrem/year limit.

He said his firm plans to reuse noncontaminated concrete rubble to fill portions of the site where foundations are removed to 4 feet below the surface, less as a cost-saving measure than as a way to eliminate the need for an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 truckloads of clean fill to be brought to the site.

Use of rubble from the site has been criticized by the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, saying the same standards should be used that were employed at the Maine Yankee, Connecticut Yankee and Yankee Atomic sites.

Doug Larson of Geosyntec Consultants later gave the advisory panel an endorsement of the rubblization process as a way to not only reduce truck traffic but also reduce use of virgin fill from offsite, reduce landfill elsewhere and leave a smaller carbon footprint from not having to truck material offsite.

Clay Turnbull of New England Coalition reminded the panel that an agreement between Entergy and the state committed that rubblization would not take place on the site as part of decommissioning.

Author: Going Green

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