Administration Requests NRC Review Yankee Incidents

08/15/12 6:06AM By Ross Sneyd

The Shumlin administration has renewed its request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for greater scrutiny of Vermont Yankee's operations.

Public Service Commissioner Liz Miller says there have been a continuing series of incidents that she thinks deserve close attention by federal regulators.

"Whether they constitute a larger issue is something that the NRC should keep squarely on its radar," said Miller. "And we intend to continue to review the filings and put them in front of the NRC to ask the question, ‘Why isn't this a pattern that requires further review?'"

Miller cited a number of issues that have been reported at Yankee over the past few months in a letter to an N-R-C regional administrator. They include problems reading an oil gauge, a drop in the level of the water in the spent fuel pool and a missing seal in a manhole cover.

Neal Sheehan is a spokesman for the N.R.C. He says the commission will review Miller's letter. But he says the issues don't represent major safety concerns.

"We have not seen an accumulation of any of these issues in specific areas that would trigger an increase in our oversight," Sheehan commented. "That's something that we'll keep a close watch on but at this point they have not crossed any of those thresholds."

Liz Miller says the Shumlin administration will continue pressuring the N.R.C to scrutinize Yankee, regardless of federal regulators' response to the latest letter.

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