Letter: Speak Up About Vermont Yankee

Speak Up About Vermont Yankee

To the Editor:

Anyone concerned about Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant receiving a certificate of public good to legally operate in the state of Vermont can put Nov. 19 on their calendar. For those unable to attend the hearing in person, it is possible to attend the Public Service Board hearing at one of the 13 interactive TV sites the board will operate.

The facility’s owner, Entergy of Louisiana, now operates without a state license, and the state is not purchasing its electricity. The Public Service Board, the sole legal authority to issue Entergy a state license, is seeking public opinion. Because the issue of radiological health and safety of the facility is the exclusive responsibility of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, states are not allowed to include safety as a reason to deny a license. Instead, the state can consider issues such as Entergy’s trustworthiness in informing the state about accidents at the facility, its record of keeping contracted agreements with the state, its standards of maintenance and repairs of the facility, the adequacy of its contributions to a decommissioning fund, as required by law ... the list goes on and on.

In the Upper Valley, the closest interactive TV sites for participating in the hearing, which will start at 7 p.m., are the Community College of Vermont in Hartford and Vermont Technical College in Randolph. To better understand the purpose of the hearing and how to effectively present your concerns, the following websites are helpful, under the title “Public Service Board Hearings”: Safeandgreencampaign.org, and SAGEAlliiance.net.

For years, the people of Vermont have stated in many different and creative ways their concerns about the operation of Vermont Yankee. Now it is time to fill the hearing on the 19th with voices that focus on the issue of “public good.”

Nina Swaim