BRATTLEBORO -- Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon is back online after completing its 30th refueling and maintenance outage. Control room operators returned the plant to service on Friday, April 5, at 12:21 p.m. Operators are in the process of gradually raising the plant's output to full power.
Entergy Nuclear Site Vice President Chris Wamser attributed the successful outage to the careful planning of tasks beforehand and the safety focus and craftsmanship of all the outage workers. About 1,000 craft workers supplemented the Vermont Yankee staff for the 26-day, round-the-clock outage work.
The work scope during the outage involved replacing approximately one third of the fuel assemblies in the reactor and replacing a large electrical transformer as well as a large recirculation pump motor and performing general maintenance activities, tests and inspections on plant equipment which runs throughout the operating cycle. Prior to this refueling outage, the plant operated continuously for the full operating cycle, a total of 493 days straight.
Refueling and maintenance outages are scheduled every 18 months and the influx of outage workers represents an economic benefit of $2.5 million to the area.
On April 30, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be hosting an open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Multipurpose Room of Brattleboro Union High School. Following the open house, there will be a question and answer session to discuss the NRC's assessment of safety performance at Yankee.
NRC staffers will be on hand to respond to questions on specific performance issues at the plant and the NRC's role in ensuring safe plant operations.
Local law enforcement officers will be conducting searches of bags (briefcases, purses, backpacks, equipment cases, etc.) outside the entry into the meeting room. Additionally, signs, banners, posters and displays affixed to any sticks, poles, or other similar devices will not be permitted in the meeting room.
The NRC's annual assessment letter regarding Vermont Yankee Power Station performance during 2012 can be found in the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) with Accession Number ML13059A285. ADAMS is accessible at: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html.
Additional information relative to the NRC's annual assessment process and the safety
performance of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, can be found at: http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/index.html.