If you talk to the residents of Brattleboro about Vermont Yankee, you are likely to get a wide range of opinions -- some who want it shut down immediately and others who would like to see Yankee continue to operate for years into the future. Jeffery Dejardins offers a little bit of both. "I feel like it should be kept open but with some stipulations. They should get the dry cask storage off the property. I think that is a pretty risky problem. I don't think it is very safe, " he said.
Officials from the Nuclear Regular Commission addressed safety concerns with members of the media Monday. The NRC recently finished an annual assessment of the plant in which Yankee was given the highest marks it could get. "They are in the action matrix, which is the most safe level," said the NRC's Chris Miller.
There were some areas of concern, like faulty fire door latches and standard operational errors, but NRC officials say in most cases, those issues have already been corrected. What the annual assessment does not elaborate on is the current litigation surrounding the plant in the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, or the ongoing battle between Vermont and the plant over the plant's Certificate of Public Good and continued operation.
"We don't comment on that," Miller said. "We are not in the decision making process for that."
Yankee spokesman Rob WIlliams said they are pleased with the NRC's finding, but not surprised. "The plant operated for almost 500 days continuously -- day and night -- and that was followed up by a very successful refueling outage. So, we are very pleased with the plant performance but we would also point out that is only possible because we have a great safety focus here," he said.
A concern shared by even those who support the plants presence in the region. "There are a lot of people who work for Vermont Yankee, so it is a lot of jobs. I can understand the danger side of it too. It's a risky business but they are highly trained people who work there," Dejardins said.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>