VY has cooling tower problems (again)


Vermont Yankee's problems continue. Here's what the Rutland Herald's Susan Smallheer reported this morning:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed Tuesday evening that a large fiberglass pipe in the recently rebuilt cooling towers at Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor had developed an 18-inch crack and was leaking water.

Another crack developed in a joint in another location along the same pipe, a spokeswoman for the NRC said.

The disclosure of the cracks in the large distribution or header pipe in the east cooling tower comes after Entergy recently completed rebuilding the infrastructure of the two cooling towers over the past three years, after the western tower partially collapsed in August 2007.

The news came up at a NRC meeting in Brattleboro Tuesday night. I'm sure it was the focus of the meeting. Right? Oh, wait.

Until the issue was brought up by Raymond Shadis, senior technical advisor to the nuclear watchdog group The New England Coalition, about two hours into the meeting, neither Entergy nor NRC officials had mentioned the problem, which was discovered Thursday by Entergy. The leaks have already undergone a temporary repair, according to Entergy spokesman Larry Smith.

The above photo is from the 2007 cooling tower collapse.

-Dan Barlow

One Response to VY has cooling tower problems (again)

  1. Peter Alexander

    We get evidence nearly every week now that Vermont Yankee is falling apart, and that the NRC and Entergy are complicit in trying to hide the truth, or at least spin the facts to make it sound like everything is OK. Absolutely amazing that Ray Shadis and Paul Blanch broke the news on this instead of the company or the agency. Also very revealing that NRC rigged the speaking order at the meeting. Ray and Paul were signed up numbers 2 and 3, but NRC wouldn’t let them speak until the media were out of the room! Everything is NOT OK in Vernon, and waiting until 2012 to shutter this failing tangle of pipes and wires could be a catastrophic mistake.