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Vt. Yankee advisory panel to hold forum on April 14


Greenfield Recorder 03/31/2015, Page C01

By RICHIE DAVIS Recorder Staff

GREENFIELD — The Citizens Advisory Panel on the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Decommissioning has held five meetings since last October and two sessions since the Vernon, Vt., reactor ceased operations at the end of December.

Now, its only Massachusetts representative, Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, has scheduled an April 14“informational forum” in Greenfield to discuss the planned decommissioning of the plant, which is not scheduled to begin for decades because Entergy Nuclear is waiting for the $660 million decommissioning trust fund to amass the $1.2 billion currently estimated for dismantling and cleaning up the reactor. Entergy representatives plan to attend the forum, at 6:30 p.m. in Greenfield Community College’s Downtown Center, to offer a presentation on the decommissioning process and end of the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone, as well as to answer questions.

The advisory panel, to which Mark was appointed by then Gov. Deval Patrick, serves as a way for the public to ask questions and learn about the decommissioning process. Its members include elected officials from surrounding communities in Vermont and New Hampshire, union members, private sector workers and area residents.

“I know people in the affected towns in Massachusetts probably don’t want to travel to Brattleboro for the meetings, so this is giving them a chance to come and have their say at a more local forum,” Mark said. “The biggest part for me is the fact that Entergy is coming down to Massachusetts and is willing to take the time to sit through questions and comments from the public and offer a presentation. For me, that’s pretty big.”

Although he expects to convey his understanding of the impact of dismantling the 10-mile emergency zone that includes portions of Warwick, Northfield, Gill Bernardston, Greenfield, Leyden and Colrain in Massachusetts, Mark says, “It’s really for people of the region to have their say and to have a more interactive forum with Entergy. Even at the panel meetings we have, a lot of time is spent on presentation and not public discussion. I really want Massachusetts to have a chance to get a little more information and have more of a say.” “I’m very thankful the Vermont Legislature and governor saw fit to include the neighboring states and areas within the EPZ,” said Mark, adding that there has been a “good attendance” by some Massachusetts residents at prior meetings The next full citizens advisory meeting is planned for May 28 in Brattleboro Union High School’s All Purpose Room beginning at 6 p.m.

On the Web: www.brattleborotv.org/vt-nuclear-decommissioning- citizens-advisory-panel