On May 23, I attended the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s public meeting in Brattleboro on its annual safety assessment of Vermont Yankee.
Prior to the meeting, I read the announcement from Nuclear Regulatory Commission administrator Bill Dean of the NRC’s findings on Vermont Yankee showing that the plant had once again earned the commission’s highest safety rating of green. It was nice to read an informed, balanced, experienced voice of reason discuss the highly debated issue of whether or not Vermont Yankee is safe.
Dean said “Throughout 2011, our inspectors kept close watch on safety performance at all 104 commercial power reactors operating in the United States. Vermont Yankee was among those that met our clearly defined performance criteria last year. In addition, our inspectors spent time in 2011 verifying that there were no immediate safety concerns at Vermont Yankee, as well as all other US nuclear power plants, following the March events at the Fukushima Daiichi facility in Japan. Those reviews indicated the plants remained safe for continued operation.”
In other words, Vermont Yankee is safe. The agency that is chock-full of nuclear experts, watchdogs, and independent safety inspectors, many of them focused almost exclusively on Vermont Yankee, has looked at the plant, considered the ramifications of Fukushima, and determined that the plant is safe.
After a review based on clear, proven scientific information, not politics and fear, the NRC has given Vermont Yankee the “green light.”