THIS ENTIRE SITE TRANSLATES INTO 100 DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, TRY IT,--upper left                                                       
       



 
DR DAVID CLEVELAND 508-487-1956  or  508-487-1981
CLEVELAND78@LIVE.COM
VERMONT NUCLEAR SHUT DOWN





Susan Smallheer / Staf
Susan Smallheer / Staff Photo






VERMONT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT SHUTS DOWN FOREVER!




Brian Stewart, senior control room simulator trainer, points to the two simulator “scram”buttons that will shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station on Dec. 29. 2014

BRATTLEBORO — Entergy Nuclear prepped its last crew of control room operators Monday, one of the last steps in getting ready for the permanent shutdown of Vermont Yankee next week.

Senior trainer Brian Stewart said the last group of control room operators went through the shutdown procedure in the training simulator, starting at 8 a.m. and ending around 2 p.m.

He said the permanent shutdown training was very similar to shutdowns for which Yankee staff members had trained for decades — the refueling outages every 18 months.

But Stewart said the training was a little different from the refueling outage training. There is no restart, he said, and workers don’t have to do tests they would ordinarily do to prepare for restarting. “In that way, it’s simpler,” he said.

He said there should be fewer distractions — there won’t be the hundreds of contract workers waiting to get to work refueling the plant.

The simulator, an exact replica of the 1960s-era control room at the Vernon reactor down to its avocado-green metal paneling, is in a warehouse off Old Ferry Road in North Brattleboro, part of Entergy’s corporate complex.

Paul Paradis, the decommissioning manager for Vermont Yankee, said Yankee was currently generating power at about 75 percent, and he said it would only go a percentage point or two lower before the Monday midday shutdown next week. The plant had begun “coasting down” in its generation of 640 megawatts of power in September.

Paradis said Vermont Yankee, which started generating power in 1972, is the first boiling water reactor to be shut down permanently. All the other reactors, he said, were pressurized water reactors.

Paradis said once the plant is shut down, and the fuel moved from the reactor core to the spent fuel pool, employment will drop from 550 to 316 employees by mid-January.

Monday marked the annual media day for the plant, where plant personnel gave reporters a briefing about issues and upcoming changes at the plant, with an emphasis on one of the issues that is still under contention between Entergy and the Shumlin administration: emergency planning.

Entergy wants to eliminate all emergency planning for the towns surrounding the Vermont Yankee plant after 2016; the state wants emergency planning to remain in place until all the spent nuclear fuel is transferred from the spent fuel pool into air-cooled, steel and concrete casks.

Entergy emergency planner Mike McKenney said other nuclear power plants had made a similar request, and had it granted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. No changes will be implemented, McKenney said, without the license amendment being granted by the NRC. Entergy hopes to eliminate the 10-mile emergency evacuation zone around Yankee in the spring of 2016.

Stewart made clear that he wasn’t happy about what was happening. “It’s a perfectly viable power plant,” said Stewart, who like many who work at Vermont Yankee, started their nuclear career in the U.S. Navy. “It’s sad. It seems rather unnecessary.”

“This was my last official task,” said Stewart, pointing to “a mass of paper” the operators left behind, which showed the shutdown procedures for Dec. 29. 

“For some of us, it’s a little tragic,” Stewart said.

Stewart said more than a dozen control room operators would be in the real control room Monday morning, preparing to shut down Vermont Yankee, insert the plant’s 89 control rods and watch dozens and dozens of gauges drop to zero.

susan.smallheer

@rutlandherald.com

f PhoBRATTLEBORO — Entergy Nuclear prepped its last crew of control room operators Monday, one of the last steps in getting ready for the permanent shutdown of Vermont Yankee next week.


Senior trainer Brian Stewart said the last group of control room operators went through the shutdown procedure in the training simulator, starting at 8 a.m. and ending around 2 p.m.

He said the permanent shutdown training was very similar to shutdowns for which Yankee staff members had trained for decades — the refueling outages every 18 months.

But Stewart said the training was a little different from the refueling outage training. There is no restart, he said, and workers don’t have to do tests they would ordinarily do to prepare for restarting. “In that way, it’s simpler,” he said.

He said there should be fewer distractions — there won’t be the hundreds of contract workers waiting to get to work refueling the plant.

The simulator, an exact replica of the 1960s-era control room at the Vernon reactor down to its avocado-green metal paneling, is in a warehouse off Old Ferry Road in North Brattleboro, part of Entergy’s corporate complex.

Paul Paradis, the decommissioning manager for Vermont Yankee, said Yankee was currently generating power at about 75 percent, and he said it would only go a percentage point or two lower before the Monday midday shutdown next week. The plant had begun “coasting down” in its generation of 640 megawatts of power in September.

Paradis said Vermont Yankee, which started generating power in 1972, is the first boiling water reactor to be shut down permanently. All the other reactors, he said, were pressurized water reactors.

Paradis said once the plant is shut down, and the fuel moved from the reactor core to the spent fuel pool, employment will drop from 550 to 316 employees by mid-January.

Monday marked the annual media day for the plant, where plant personnel gave reporters a briefing about issues and upcoming changes at the plant, with an emphasis on one of the issues that is still under contention between Entergy and the Shumlin administration: emergency planning.

Entergy wants to eliminate all emergency planning for the towns surrounding the Vermont Yankee plant after 2016; the state wants emergency planning to remain in place until all the spent nuclear fuel is transferred from the spent fuel pool into air-cooled, steel and concrete casks.

Entergy emergency planner Mike McKenney said other nuclear power plants had made a similar request, and had it granted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. No changes will be implemented, McKenney said, without the license amendment being granted by the NRC. Entergy hopes to eliminate the 10-mile emergency evacuation zone around Yankee in the spring of 2016.

Stewart made clear that he wasn’t happy about what was happening. “It’s a perfectly viable power plant,” said Stewart, who like many who work at Vermont Yankee, started their nuclear career in the U.S. Navy. “It’s sad. It seems rather unnecessary.”

“This was my last official task,” said Stewart, pointing to “a mass of paper” the operators left behind, which showed the shutdown procedures for Dec. 29. 

“For some of us, it’s a little tragic,” Stewart said.

Stewart said more than a dozen control room operators would be in the real control room Monday morning, preparing to shut down Vermont Yankee, insert the plant’s 89 control rods and watch dozens and dozens of gauges drop to zero.

susan.smallheer

@rutlandherald.com