Friday, August 20, 2010

NRC urged to move quickly on safety issue

From the Rutland Herald:
The New England Coalition, a nuclear physicist and his activist son want the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to lower the peak temperature of Vermont Yankee’s nuclear fuel cladding, saying data and studies show that the margin of safety in the event of a loss of coolant accident is down to 30 seconds. The NRC earlier in spring had already agreed to consider the matter raised by Mark Leyse of New York City, but in a review track that will take years, not months. The New England Coalition wants the margin of safety increased immediately. Leyse and Raymond Shadis, senior technical adviser to the coalition, say Vermont Yankee’s peak cladding temperature of 1,960 degrees Fahrenheit only gives the plant operators 30 seconds to react during a loss-of-coolant incident scenario. They have petitioned to have Entergy Nuclear, the owner of Vermont Yankee, lower the peak temperature to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit, if not lower. Vermont Yankee already operates with a lower temperature than the standard 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit set for most nuclear reactors.
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