Vermont Yankee Emergency Preparedness Exemptions Approved

 Vermont Yankee Emergency Preparedness Exemptions Approved

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted Entergy Nuclear Operations’ (NYSE: ETR) request to alter the emergency preparedness plan for the single-unit Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station.
The changes will be effective April 15, 2016 to reflect the plant’s decommissioning status. The changes are exemptions from certain NRC regulations that may not apply to nuclear plants that have ended operations. Once Entergy implements the exemptions, state and local governments may rely on comprehensive emergency management planning for off-site emergency response at Vermont Yankee, rather than having a dedicated offsite radiological emergency response plan approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As a result, there will not be a 10-mile emergency planning zone, but the plant will maintain an onsite emergency plan and response capabilities, including the continued notification of state government officials of an emergency declaration.
Entergy provided analyses to show the exemptions are necessary because the risk of an offsite radiological release is significantly lower and the types of accidents significantly fewer at a permanently shut down nuclear reactor that has removed fuel from the reactor vessel. NRC staff evaluated and confirmed these analyses, and the commission approved the exemptions March 2. The exemption package, including a safety evaluation, was issued Dec. 10.
Vermont Yankee, a single-unit boiling water reactor, was permanently shut down Dec. 29, 2014 after more than 40 years of operation. All spent fuel has been permanently moved from the reactor vessels to the spent fuel pools for storage.
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