The Maine Yankee Community Advisory Panel convened its annual meeting at the Taste of Maine Restaurant in Woolwich Sept. 11.
The panel was established during the decommissioning of Maine Yankee for the purpose of enhancing communications, public involvement, and education.
Still remaining at the Maine Yankee site, located on about 11 acres of land, is the storage facility with 60 dry casks containing 1,434 spent nuclear fuel assemblies, as well as four casks containing sections of the reactor.
During the meeting, CAP members agreed to send a letter to the Maine congressional delegation thanking them for their support of the priority removal of spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned nuclear sites like Maine Yankee.
According to the annual report presented by Eric Howes, director of public and government affairs for Maine Yankee, the ongoing litigation between the three Yankee companies and the Department of Energy is being conducted in phases as an earlier Federal Appeals Court decision ruled that utility companies cannot receive damage awards for costs they have not incurred.
Therefore, the Yankee companies – Maine Yankee, Connecticut Yankee, and Yankee Rowe – will continue to litigate with the U.S. Department of Energy every several years to request damages incurred by the ratepayers.
Howes told the panel he expects the spent nuclear fuel to remain at Maine Yankee for many years.
This year’s CAP agenda also included Maine Yankee’s annual report on the storage facility, appointing two new members to the panel, and welcoming a new independent spent fuel storage installation manager.
Wiscasset Town Planner Misty Parker and Stacy Linehan, owner of Treats in Wiscasset, were appointed to serve on the panel. Panel Chair Don Hudson made it clear the new members were serving as individuals, not in their roles as town planner and business owner.
Wayne Norton, president and chief nuclear officer of Maine Yankee, introduced J. Stanley Brown as the new independent spent fuel storage installation manager to the CAP members. Brown replaces retiring James Connell.
Brown is a former 15-year Maine Yankee employee. His commercial nuclear experience includes nine years as an engineer supervisor and project manager. Brown was also employed at Bath Iron Works and the Seabrook Nuclear Power plant before returning to Maine Yankee.
Connell was recognized by the CAP members and Maine Yankee for his 34 years of dedicated service to the company. According to Maine Yankee’s annual report, Connell will continue to work part-time as the radiation protection manager.
Maine Yankee operated a 900-megawatt nuclear power plant that produced 119 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from 1972 to 1997 and was decommissioned between 1997 and 2005.