Massachusetts’ governor questioned the NRC about tritium leaks

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MASSACHUSETTS’ GOVERNOR ASKED THE NRC TO REQUIRE “EXTENSIVE TESTING” for tritium leaks at Entergy’s Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim nuclear power plants and to halt the agency’s reviews of applications to renew their operating licenses. The NRC should also halt the spin-off of Entergy’s merchant nuclear power plants, including Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim, into a new company, Enexus, Deval
Patrick said in a February 9 letter to NRC commissioners. Recent tritium leaks at Vermont Yankee in Vermont are a “serious problem,” Patrick said in the letter, which was made public February 10. The “similarities in design” of
Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim in Massachusetts could mean there could be leaks at Pilgrim, he said. Entergy found elevated levels of tritium in monitoring wells at the Vermont Yankee plant January 7 and has said it believes that leaking underground tanks or pipes might be the cause. NRC has approved the spin-off, which requires approval by regulators in Vermont and New York, and the renewal requests are pending. Separately, the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution filed a petition February 9 with NRC asking the agency to order Vermont Yankee shut to minimize the effects of the leak. That would allow workers to pressurize piping systems one at a time to better track the source of the leak, NEC said in the filing.

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