Federal panel's hearing in Newfane wraps up

07/25/08 7:34AM

Representatives of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission faced some tough questioning from a panel of judges weighing a citizen group's challenge to the proposed relicensing of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

The three-member panel of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, which has been holding a hearing all week in Newfane, grilled NRC staff and representatives of Entergy Nuclear yesterday about a computer model that's supposed to determine the effects of aging in the piping of the 36-year-old power plant.

James Fitzpatrick, a former Entergy Nuclear engineer, told the panel the computer model, called ChecWorks, would be better if it were updated regularly with recent data.

The New England Coalition, which brought the challenge being heard, says the computer program is outdated and inadequate for predicting future piping problems.


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