Report: Decom. costs not clear

From the Brattleboro Reformer:

A nuclear decommissioning expert says estimates to dismantle the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant are too old and don’t reflect the current state of the economy.

According to study released Thursday from Fairewinds Associates, a consultancy hired by the state Legislature to analyze the decommissioning fund, the documents created in 2006 are "technically and economically outdated."

New technology has been developed "which may dramatically decrease the cost of decommissioning, and those options have not been analyzed for their application to the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee," the report states.

All decommissioning options need to be explored, Arnie Gundersen, chief engineer for Fairewinds Associates, said.

During the previous decommissioning fund update of the nuclear plant in Vernon, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviewed the plan and required Entergy to provide a $40 million parent company guarantee to address a shortfall, Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the NRC, wrote in an e-mail to the Reformer.

"Looking ahead, nuclear power plant owners will be required to submit new updates on their decommissioning trust funds in March, providing us with another opportunity to scrutinize them," he wrote.

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