By allowing nuclear energy corporations to raid nuclear plant decommissioning funds, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting an unreviewed and unregulated subsidy to the nuclear industry. Hosted by Chris Williams of Citizens Action Network, Fairewinds Energy Education’s Arnie Gundersen details how Decommissioning Stakeholders’ Fund-amental Rights are being trampled.
This public meeting focuses on Entergy’s Vermont Yankee decommissioning and its threats to run roughshod over Vermonters. Vermont Yankee is one of the six nuclear power plants currently beginning the decommissioning process. This is a serious issue for all areas of the country since 8 or 10 additional nuclear plants are also considering decommissioning due to the cost of safety modifications as well as deteriorating equipment conditions that negatively impact safe plant operation.
The NRC is accepting comments from the public on the Vermont Yankee Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report. The comment period will be open through March 23, 2015. Written comments can be submitted to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: 3WFN-06-A44M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001, and via www.regulations.gov, using Docket No. 50-271.
EMCEE: Nothing, but nothing, is better than having somebody who knows what it’s all about, and can translate nuke speak and translate Entergy speak and Arnie’s done a great job there and welcome, Arnie Gundersen (applause). AG: Wow, that’s quite a buildup. There’s one other person I should introduce you to – Dave Link is our – oh, there he is – he’s a video guy, and if you need video, Dave does it – he’s a cool guy. So thank you. There’s a couple things. Basically you gave my speech already. I’ll be real quick. EMCEE: You sent it to me. AG: It’s an interesting word that you use. How do you say – S-A-F-S-T-O-R-E – F: Safstore. AG: If you really say it, if your third grade English teacher was here right now, it’d be SAFSTOR – SAF runs like SAP – SAFSTORE – so I’m trying to change my vocabulary to call it SAFSTORE because it certainly is not safety. As a matter of fact, one of the near misses in nuclear history occurred when a plant was in SAFSTORE. It was Dresden 1 in Illinois. And they had shut the plant down and they turned the heat off and they walked away and the pipes froze. And it began to drain the fuel pool. And luckily – and it is purely luck – that a watchman noticed 60,000 gallons in the basement and said something’s got to be wrong. If that watchman had come through a day later, the radioactivity levels on that site would have been so high, the site would have had to be evacuated. The water level in the fuel pool would have drained down and essentially, you would have had a giant X-ray machine that would have made the site uninhabitable. So that’s what SAFSTORE is – I think SAFSTORE is a better term. It is certainly not necessarily safe, especially when the fuel is still in the fuel pool. So I will try during this presentation and I urge you to – don’t give the NRC that word – as it’s spelled, it’s SAFSTORE and let’s throw it back to them that way. So anyway, I’m Arnie Gundersen and Maggie and I live in Burlington and we have this business called Fairewinds Associates. And I do a lot of expert reports around the country and a couple around the world. Separately, though, we established a non-profit, which is Fairewinds Energy, and if you’ve ever gotten up on the web, you’ll see all the videos we put up. Maggie and I don’t draw a salary from Fairewinds Energy. The donations we get go to the audio visual and keeping the site active and things like that. The concept of Fairewinds Energy was Maggie’s, and to just tell you real quick, what happened was, over the years, I had been working with reporters a lot and when Fukushima happened – the accident at Daiichi – that was on a Friday, and on Saturday and Sunday, the calls were frantic. I mean the New York Times called for four hours, Wall Street Journal called for four hours, Washington Post four hours, on and on and on – I was on the phone constantly. So then Monday morning, I come out in the New York Times and Washington Post as a nuclear expert. Well, what does CNN do? They read the newspaper and they say well, here’s a guy who’s mentioned in two newspapers as a nuclear expert – he must be a nuclear expert. And so they brought me in to be their commentator on their shows. And by the way, CNN does not pay. They believe you get all this free publicity and so it’s not like – when you hear Brian Williams’ making 13 million dollars, CNN gives zero to their experts. But that’s fine. So they were giving me about 8 minutes of air time, which was really a lot of time. And it wasn’t enough. And Maggie had been bugging me for years about doing videos. And I said, who wants to hear an old man talk, was sort of my reaction. And so finally, as we were about 3 or 4 or 5 days into the accident and while I could say a lot on CNN, I couldn’t say enough. I said okay, let’s do a video. So our little static site – on a good day, we used to have 80 visitors – most days it was 10 or 12 – our little static site, when we put the first video up, went to 10,000. And the second video, it went to 25,000 and we crashed the servers and they threw us off the network and there was – it’s been an incredible ride since then for Fairewinds Energy, our little non-profit. And our total reach has been in excess of 10 million people so far. So I’ve got to give credit to the media. I’m just the talking head here. The media strategy behind this is Maggie’s. So anyway, let’s talk about SAFSTORE and as we were funded by the Lintilhac Foundation to do this work and when I looked at SAFSTORE, I determined that Vermont Yankee’s getting away with stuff because the NRC regulations are so lax. That’s what Chris was just saying. So really, they’re kind of inextricably intertwined. We’ve got NRC regulations and what’s happen at Vermont Yankee. And it will be very difficult to change it because the NRC, as basically a priesthood, has convinced themselves that this is completely safe. So with that in mind, I’m sort of going to be talking about Vermont Yankee. But the real issue behind this is lax regulation at the NRC. So there’s this thing called the PSDAR – and I had it down here as the Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Analysis Report – but I do think it’s Activities Report – so they have this thing that they publish. They have to have it out six months after they shut down. And it’s a report, about 300 pages long, and you can get it on the Department’s website – M: The Department of Public Service website – AG: Yeah, DPS has it on their website. So it’s available. And I read it in depth. Now separately, before that, we were contracted with the joint fiscal office in 2010 to look at earlier reports that were generated every five years by Vermont Yankee. And they were – they compared what was in the fund with what was available, and I’ll come back to that. So we have looked at the ’06 report and the ’12 report and now came this PSDAR. So the first thing I want to talk about is safety and the second thing I want to talk about is money. Now I’m sorry I’ve got to look at this – this was going to be a Power Point but the projector here was not compatible with my Apple. So we will provide this to Chris and we will put it up on the web. And it will also be interlaced – when we get the video done, we’ll interlace the slides with the video so you’ll actually be able to see what it was we’re talking about. So safety first. This SAFSTORE has no scientific basis. This 60-year number has no basis in science at all. Decommissioning straightforward – I decommissioned several facilities in my professional career and with the exception of being radioactive compared to being arsenic or chemical or whatever, it’s essentially a straightforward working with a hazardous material process and this is not rocket science. A lot of it uses wrecking balls an bulldozers, so this is not rocket science. Now the NRC will tell you that they want to wait 60 years because they want to lower the exposure to the people that work there. And the real issue, though, is they claim that if you wait 60 years, the total exposure to the workers will be 300 REM – REM is a measure of exposure – over 60 years, there’ll be 300 REM. And we need to keep that number low so we need to wait 60 years. However, when a power plant is down and needs to come back up to make money, the NRC looks the other way. And the example is that Palisades, which is another Entergy plant – just last year, they had to make a repair, and they were shut down for one month. And in that one-month, they gave 115 REM to a group of people to get that plant up and running. So when the issue is getting a power plant back on line, the NRC really doesn’t care about REM. But when the issue is, can we delay this to – as a subsidy to the nuclear industry – then the NRC hides behind the poor workers that need to have their exposure reduced. So you can’t have it both ways and the NRC definitely tries to. So it’s really – as Chris said – it’s a subsidy. If they were required to put all the money in that was necessary, the cost of nuclear electricity would go up and nuclear plants would shut down. So if you delay the time that that nuclear plant needs to be decommissioned for 60 years, there’s less money in the fund, which means that nuclear can compete with coal or oil or natural gas on a field that’s not level at all. When a coal plant shuts down, it’s dismantled pretty quickly and yet a nuke requires 60 years. In Vermont, by the way, windmills are required to have all of their decommissioning money before they start. Those dangerous windmills – you’ve got to watch out for them. But a nuclear power plant can wait 60 years until there’s enough money to start it up. So it’s really about a subsidy to the industry. Would you have a gas station in your town that sat there idle for 60 years? The answer is, of course not. You’d do something about it. So the second thing, and it’s almost like we planned this – the second thing is the spent fuel pool. Vermont Yankee is less risky now that it’s shut down than when it was running. That’s good. But the risk has not gone to zero. The fuel pool is essentially a giant swimming pool – 120 feet in the air. And as I told you, at Dresden, the fuel pool leaked and there’s enough material in the nuclear pool – there’s 700 nuclear bomb’s worth of Cesium in that pool. So that if the pool becomes exposed and if the pool were to catch fire, you’re talking about 700 Hiroshima’s worth of Cesium are sitting in that pool. So there’s a significant risk and a non-zero – a significant consequence and a non-zero risk. So the NRC prefers to think that that risk is zero, but they don’t factor into that terrorists and they don’t factor into that the experience they already have at Dresden where one of these things already failed. So we have major consequences with admittedly a lower probability of a failure than when the plant was running, but still there’s a finite probability - what did you use – that term? – M: Train wreck? (12:57) AG: No, no, no. The other one – the probability – the NRC guy. M: Oh, oh. A fairly high-risk operation. Bruce Watson. AG: Okay. So there’s a fairly high-risk operation with enormous consequences if they get it wrong. So what’s in the best interests of Vermonters like Chris? – And we did not coordinate before I walked in the door here – we need to keep the emergency plan in place until the fuel is out of that fuel pool and on the ground. Now Entergy said well, if we do that, it’s going to cost 100 million dollars in the next five years. That’s baloney. It may cost 2 million a year for 5 years – so 10 million dollars to keep the emergency organization in place. And if it’s important to Vermonters, we should take that out of the fund. That’s money that is well spent to keep that part of the state safe in the event that an accident happens. So we should dip into the decommissioning fund for this $10 million to keep that staff integrated with the facility, considering the risk. So the other thing is moving spent fuel. The spent fuel will be in there five years. They said 2019 and they shut down a couple of months ago so four to five years, after which it will be removed slowly into enormous canisters. There’s one canister that weighs 70 tons empty – 70 tons empty – and then they put nuclear fuel in it and it comes up to about 100 tons. And then they lift that out of the nuclear fuel pool, drive it over to the side on a huge crane and then lower it very slowly down a shaft to the ground. And they put it into another concrete canister when it gets on the ground. But fully loaded when it comes out of the fuel pool, it weighs about 100 tons. Now I think I might be the only person in Vermont who still remembers this, but in 2008, the brakes broke on that crane. Remember that? Nobody talks about that. The brakes broke on the crane. So that’s a problem. We know there is a probability of failure. We’ve experienced a probability of failure, and yet we have the school right across the street. So the spent fuel is safe for five years. The brakes have already been known to fail. And there’s been other problems with refueling at other sites where the canister was moved over places where, had it dropped, it would have punctured the fuel pool. So not only would the single canister weighing 100 tons fall 100 feet onto the ground and shatter and make the site uninhabitable, but these canisters have periodically been moved in the wrong location and they would have fallen into the fuel pool. And the fuel pool cannot stand the weight of 100-ton canister falling on it. It would puncture the fuel pool. So this is serious stuff. And it has happened here in Vermont – the brakes failed. So my thought on this is, it has to be done. And it’s much safer to get it on the ground. But while it’s up there, and especially as it’s moving, we have that school across the street. And I think they should move the fuel in the summer when the school is closed. But one of the recommendations that are going to come out is we can do this, this is not rocket science, you can plan your schedule so that June, July and August, to the beginning of September, you’ve got the fuel pool empty – this is a doable thing. And it would not eliminate the risk to the whole area but certainly, the most likely people to be impacted if there were an accident would be the kids. And there’s a simple solution: just don’t do it when the kids are in school. These canisters, by the way, are about as tall as Chris and I – 12, 13 feet – if you were on my shoulders or I were on your shoulders. And pretty impressive. They’re extraordinarily strong and the reason they have to be is because they have an extraordinary amount of radiation. Each canister probably has something on the order of 10 nuclear bombs worth of Cesium inside it. They remain terrorist targets while they’re above ground. Entergy had the opportunity of buying a different cask which could be set in the ground and they chose not to be cause those were more expensive. So we have these things sticking out of the ground now. And we will until the federal government picks them up. So the other – and probably the last point on safety is we had a leak at Vermont Yankee. And it’s been referred to as the Tritium leak. But it wasn’t tritium. Power plants around the country have leaked tritium. And only tritium. And there are certain tanks – the condensate storage tank is the example – when they leak, they only leak tritium because that’s all that’s in it. The leak at Connecticut and Vermont Yankee was different from any other plant in the country, which was Connecticut Yankee. And that leak had some tritium in it, but it also had Cesium 137, Strontium 90 and Cobalt 60, all of which are really bad actors. Cesium is a muscle seeker – causes something called Chernobyl heart in kids. Strontium is a bone seeker and causes leukemia. So we know that the Vermont Yankee site, unlike all these other sites in the country that have had – quote – tritium leaks – the Vermont Yankee site had tritium and strontium. And we know that. When I was on the oversight panel, they dug down next to the building that was leaking. And it was called the AOG building. And that stands for the – I want to say the Advanced Off Gas. It was built in 1970 and they’re still calling it advanced technology. It’s the A-O-G building. So the AOG building had a leak in it, and they dug next to the building to pick up as much of the dirt as they could. They could not dig under the building, because the building was seismic and if they did, it would have caused the seismic constraints to be compromised, so they chose not to dig under. So we know under the building – we’ve actually done cores under the building and found strontium and found Cesium under the building – we know it’s there. At Connecticut Yankee, they had a similar leak with strontium. The strontium got down into the groundwater and cost an extra billion dollars to clean up. That’s not the total job. The total job was around 5, 6, 700 million. But to get the tritium that had gone into the groundwater at Connecticut Yankee, it cost another billion dollars. Now Connecticut Yankee was a publicly owned utility and not a merchant plant, so this is one of these differences where the rules for merchant plants are awfully hazy. And what happened in Connecticut was, they didn’t have enough money in the fund, but it was a utility. And they raised everybody’s rates in the State of Connecticut $100 million a year. So that’s how they recovered the cost. And the point I’m trying to make in the hearings is that if we wait 60 years to decommission that building, you’re giving the Cesium and strontium a chance to spread. I think right now that building should be completely dismantled and that radioactive waste removed from the soil. Why let more horses out of the barn? We know most of them are still under that building. The news this week says they’re moving, and the numbers are that they are now half of the EPA allowable limits at the well that they happen to have tested. But between that well, which might happen to be back and where the source is, it’s got to be higher. There’s more cesium in the ground than they’re measuring at that well and nobody wants to measure it and nobody wants to talk about it. And shame on Entergy. I’m not surprised, but within the Shumlin administration, too, no one wants to really do something about it. So my other recommendation here is that that building, that AOG building, be completely decommissioned now. And the – it also has a secondary advantage. It’s probably about a $40 million job – maybe a $50 million job to do – the fund is at 650, so there’s enough money to do it, and they’d have to do it anyway years from now. But it does provide employment for people in the Brattleboro area – in an area that’s looking for employment. So we have an opportunity for a year and a half of construction work while this building is being decommissioned as well. If we don’t do it now, we run the risk of the cost being astronomical – potentially a billion dollars, when they finally get around to it. Because then they’ve got to dig up the whole site to chase this strontium and cesium. Why not trap it right now and minimize the risk to the river and minimize the cost to Vermonters? So this new strontium discovery – I’ll be on Mark Johnson tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock talking about this – 9:05 – discussing this. Maggie and I wrote a report for the Joint Fiscal office in 2010 about the – we foresaw that the cesium and the strontium were going to move in the groundwater. There was a way to prevent it. They had extraction wells and they had monitoring wells on the site. They were pulling water out of the ground during the worst of the leak and trapping it in large bladders and then shipping them to Tennessee for disposal in trucks. So what happened – what we recommended is keep those extraction wells going. Now this is at the end of the Douglas administration, and Entergy chose to shut them down because they claimed the problem was solved. And in fact, what happened was, just as we predicted in writing in a report to a Joint Fiscal Office, the strontium ran, and now we’ve got a bigger problem on our hands. So this was foreseeable. And it’s not – I don’t claim to be clairvoyant. Everybody in the industry knows this. Probably Maggie and I are the only people who want to talk about it – that’s the difference. It’s not clairvoyance. It’s just some people are willing to talk about it and most are not. So that there’s also a risk of contaminating the Connecticut River in bioaccumulation. Even though it’s at, let’s say – safe drinking levels, what happens is, it gets into the river, it winds up in the benthic organisms and strontium and calcium are identical to each other. In the periodic table, one is right over the other one – so that every place calcium goes, strontium goes. So it goes into shells on different kinds of critters at the bottom of the river; it goes into the fish bones. When people eat the fish, it goes into your bones and things like that. So strontium is an analog for cesium. And it’s dangerous. So let’s nip it in the bud now, take the source away and perhaps 20 or 30 years from now when it comes time to completely dismantle the plant, most of the remaining strontium will have disappeared. The last point I want to make is, we’re going to ship all this nuclear waste – except the fuel, the fuel is a different issue – but the building, when it gets decommissioned, is going to get shipped to Andrews County, Texas. And we’re in a compact – Vermont and Texas are in a compact – and this land at Andrews County has - five nuclear plants are going to be ultimately disposed there. Right now, Vermont Yankee is the first. But if we wait 60 years, the other ones might come in first and we may run out of land in Andrews and we’ll have to keep this thing even longer. So it’s prudent to dismantle the plant as quick as we can and send it to Texas. The nuclear fuel may sit there for 100 years, but the nuclear plant itself, we have an opportunity to get it to Texas and we should avail ourselves of that opportunity. Okay, the next thing is economics. That was safety. Those are the safety issues. Now let’s talk about money. (26:36) Our basic position is, Vermonters shouldn’t be burdened by the extra cost of the final cleanup. And it shouldn’t be a generational transfer. You know, the theory was with decommissioning that the people who used the power paid for it and were responsible for decommissioning. Waiting 60 years just kicks this can down to our grandkids. And that’s not fair because they didn’t use the power. So if we’re going to do it, we really should do it, because we used it. It’s our responsibility. I looked at this PSDAR, and there’s a table in it that talks about how the funds will be spent. And the table shows that Entergy has already spent $15 million of that $650 million. And they spent it – that’s my next line – on what? Yeah. They spent it in 2013 and 2014. They’ve already spent $15 million of the fund’s money. Now the NRC hasn’t released that money back to Entergy. But Entergy has a claim already for work that they did before the plant ever shut down, for $15 million. Now the PSDAR – this 300-page document – looks an awful lot like a cut-and-paste job from previous reports that they’ve already submitted to the state. I used to run a group that did those reports, and they’re about $100,000. So that PSDAR is about $100,000 effort. I don’t know where the $15 million went. So that’s a question we as Vermonters have a right to ask. Because if you remember this MOU that Chris was talking about, at the end of the day if there is any excess, half of it is ours. So we have a seat at the table. We should be engaged in this dialogue. Okay, so Entergy as a merchant plant has no incentive to minimize costs in the decommissioning because they’ve already said if they run out of money, they’re going to walk away. But the other interesting thing is that Entergy is using TLG Engineering to write the PSDAR and to manage the overall decommissioning. Now why is that critical? TLG Engineering is a wholly owned subsidiary of Entergy. So what’s happening here is they couldn’t make money while the plant was running; so now they’re going to make money while the plant is shut down by funneling all of the work through their own subsidiary. Now TLG, by the way, stands for Tom LaGuardia. And Tom and I were coworkers at the job in the nuclear industry. That’s where it came from. Tom went off and formed TLG which then got bought by Entergy. So they’re farming the work into a subsidiary they control, and as a merchant plant, they have no oversight. There is no auditor. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission doesn’t audit them and the State of Vermont doesn’t audit them. So there’s no control on how that money is spent. So one of the things we’re going to be asking for in our written comments and in our comments to the NRC next week is, who’s watching these guys; who’s making sure – there’s no competitive bidding – TLG got the job because TLG’s a subsidiary. Without competitive bidding, you’re not going to get a great price, and in fact, it’s likely without competitive bidding, TLG’s going to up the rates so that it will be very profitable for Entergy. Also, the staff that Entergy has on site is also marked up, too, so that there’s perhaps 100 or 150 people there will be in 2016, 2017 – well, each of those people have 100 percent markup on each of them, which is money for Entergy as well. So who’s watching that? The State of Vermont is out of the picture because they are a merchant plant, and the NRC, as far as I’ve read those regulations, has no control over the finances, either. (Q: If they’re a merchant plant, how can they ?Well, they’re not owned by anybody. They’re owned by Entergy as opposed to a utility. The rate payers in the State had a relationship with the utility. The rate payers in Vermont have no relationship with Vermont Yankee. It’s an asset owned by a corporation based in Louisiana. Anyway, the NRC has a formula to calculate how much money you have to put in. It’s literally one paragraph of law, and there’s no scientific basis for the formula, either. And it’s called 10 CFR 50.75. 10 CFR – 10 Code of the Federal Regulations – is nuclear – 50 is power reactors, paragraph 75. So it’s the power reactors, paragraph 75 section of law. And it tells you how much money you have to put in by a simple formula that we could crank out in half an hour. So there’s no basis in law for that. Now what Maggie and I and Fairewinds have done is we’ve made an interactive spreadsheet which we’re going to make available to all activists, which allows you to calculate – it’s not about how much cash they need – it’s about cash flow. Well, if you imagine money building up and money being spent, as money is being spent, the money building up gets nibbled away. Well, we’ve developed an Excel spreadsheet that starts out with $650 million that’s in the fund and grows it at – well, you can vary the interest rates. So if you think the market’s going to get 5 percent, you plug 5 percent in; if you think 6 percent, you think 3 percent, you can adjust all of that. The fund growth is controlled. Then Entergy, not in this latest PSDAR, but in their earlier reports, gave schedules of how the money would be spent by year. So we put that in. As the money is spent, we pull it out of the balance. Makes sense. If you do that and the only thing you’re doing is decommissioning Vermont Yankee, this job can be done in 2029. This is not a 60-year process. So Entergy for years has pulled the wool over our eyes until, as Chris explained, just today they saw the light. They were using the fund, they were double dipping into the fund. What they were doing was, they were also funding what’s called the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Facility – ISFSI – and the ISFSI is not in 10 CFR 50.75. So what Entergy is doing, would have had to do – it would have had to go to the State of Vermont – go to the NRC rather, and ask for an exception. And the NRC always gives exemptions, because that’s what the NRC does. They’re in the exemption business. They would let Entergy take the money from the fund to fund the ISFSI. If the ISFSI – this is the Spent Fuel Storage on site – what happens is eventually they sue the Department of Energy. Department of Energy always loses and they give them the money back. So what happens – it’s essentially an interest-free loan to Entergy. That’s what they were going to use the fund – now just today, they announced they are not going to do that. If that’s true, if they’re not going to use the fund to fund the ISFSI, the carcass of Vermont Yankee can be done in 2029. So we’re looking at a 14-year problem – I might even be alive to see this. That’s not bad. But what the Entergy analysis has done – until today – has always assumed they were going to raid the ISFSI to – they were going to raid the decommissioning fund to pay for the ISFSI. And I don’t think they’re establishing a precedent by doing what they’re doing because at Kewanee, I know they’re raiding the decommissioning fund to pay for the ISFSI. That’s not in law and you need the exemption. Now the NRC can give exemptions because with SAFSTORE, you’ve got 60 years. You can play a lot of mathematical games to show you’ve got the money available 60 years from now. And that’s what’s happened. So we will be providing on the site and for any activist who wants it, this interactive – it didn’t take – it’s taken us several long, hard day to develop it, but it’s an Excel spreadsheet. And you let one column grow and you make subtractions from it, and at the end of the day, you can determine how much money you need and when in order to decommission. Q: Public service, do they ask you to do these calculations? And if not, why are they still in their jobs? That’s a great question. When Jim Douglas was governor, Peter Shumlin appointed me to be on the Oversight Committee. And then – and Peter was the President Pro Tem of the Senate. And as that job wound down, the Joint Fiscal Office hired Maggie and I to watchdog the process, to make sure – there was 80 different commitments that Entergy had to fulfill that the Oversight Panel found. So we were contracted to the Joint Fiscal Office. The report that talks about this leakage is one of three or four or five reports that we put up. So if you look up on the JFO site – Joint Fiscal Office site – you can find the Fairewinds reports. So anyway, in 2011, when the Shumlin administration took over, the Department of Public Service convinced the JFO to drop our contract and they said they would hire us, and it never happened. So since 2011, Fairewinds has never been involved in any of the analysis, whether it be the litigation or support of the decommissioning or things like that. Q: Commissioner Recchia at the meeting today, I believe, did indicate when he was asked by a legislator about how the Department tracks the integrity of the trust fund – did say that they had people on staff that were doing that. But – Yup. We actually – one of the recommendations that we made for the Joint Fiscal Office was, the trust fund is invested in a couple of banks, but most trusts don’t suffer severe dips. And if you look at the swings in the Vermont Yankee trust fund every month, it could be up $10 million then down $15 million the very next month – the volatility of the Vermont Yankee trust fund is extraordinarily high. We talked to an investment banker who refused to use his name, and he said no, that’s wrong. They are investing in too volatile stocks because they want to pump the growth. If you want high growth, you pump in risky investments. And so the fund has a lot of swing to it. So this investment banker’s recommendation to us and we to the Joint Fiscal Office was this fund is over-invested in risky investments. And it still is. Now we talked to Doug Hoffer, and Doug does look at the fund and has determined that they’re not ripping it off. But do they have the right investment strategy to weather another 2008 market dip? No. No, they don’t. When it hit last time, the fund was cut in half. So if there was another market dip – Q: In 2008. In 2008, when the market dip occurred, we lost half the money in the fund because it was invested in very volatile – now a lot of pensioners didn’t have half their money disappear because those funds were invested more frugally. But Entergy was pushing this. They had claimed in their hearings that they could get 7 or 8 percent growth. The only way you get 7 or 8 percent growth is to invest in risky investments. So the fund is on steroids right now, and it’s time to look at the investment strategy so that if the market corrects, that we can still close Vermont Yankee by 2013 (sic) – when the market corrects. Q: I just want to make one clarification here, because you and I were talking before we sat down here tonight about what happened today. And I just want to point – this is what I wrote in my notes, this is from the meeting this morning at the legislature. Michael Toomey, the Vice President, said – first he said the decommissioning fund includes spent fuel management dollars. That’s the first thing he said. And that’s what gets us up to their $1.24 million estimate because it includes a significant chunk – $1.24 billion. Billion. Q: Yup, billion. But he also then later said, “We have established a line of credit and will use lines of credit in 2019 and will pay down the lines of credit with judgments from the court of claims.” But I’m not sure that includes the ISFSI. So he didn’t explicitly say they were going to pay for the ISFSI, but he said they were going to use the lines of credit in 2019. So I don’t know what the price differential is between the construction of the pad and the actual movement of the fuel and the purchasing of the casks and so forth. I just wanted to make that clarification. We based our cash flow on the 2012 report that Entergy provided, because it’s not in this new PSDAR. And up until 2012, they were definitely going to pull from the ISFSI. They were going to pull ISFSI money from the decommissioning fund. And it behooves the State of Vermont to find out what the hell he really said and what he really meant. Q: And they may well be pulling it or intending to pull it from the fund. That was the other confusing part today was on the one hand, they said we believe that we can use money from the spent – I mean from the radiological decommissioning fund for spent fuel management or fuel management, and literally minutes later they said, but we are going to use lines of credit for spent fuel management. Now he didn’t quantify, so we’ll see what comes out. (42:33) Well, there’s two legal arguments, especially for merchant plants, like Chris was saying, really need to be discussed at a congressional level. And the first is, does ISFSI come out of a decommissioning fund. And I think the answer is no. As I read 10 CFR 50.75, I can’t find spent fuel storage in there. And then the other one, I’ll – Q: She must have a special copy – Hold it up to the light and look through. So two more slides and I’ll be done here. So this is interesting. I want to quote Bill Sorrell, as quoted in The Digger. Sorrell said, “Entergy could treat the fund as a cookie jar” – his words, as a cookie jar – “that could be used for ‘any number of things.’” That’s truly frightening when our AG recognizes the same thing that we’re coming up with, that there is nobody watching this cookie jar right now. And shame on us as Vermonters if we allow that to happen. We have to remember that we have skin in this game. At the end of the day if they get through this and there’s money left over, half of it’s ours. And the other half is theirs. But if they don’t have any money left over, all that money has gone to their wholly owned subsidiary. So it’s to their advantage to use it all, whereas it’s to our advantage to make sure it’s prudently spent. The last – I think it’s the last slide, I might have one more slide after this, but Susan Small, who for years has done a phenomenal job – ever since I’ve been on this since 2002, my hat’s off to Susan especially – wrote in January 30th – just two weeks ago – she got some quotes from the NRC. And the NRC guy, a guy named Watson who Chris talked about – he said “Ultimately it’s a parent guarantee and legal responsibility.” So Vermont Yankee is an LLC. I looked at the corporate charter – it’s really exciting – the Vermont Yankee LLC reports into another LLC that reports into a third LLC before it gets to Entergy. And here’s the NRC saying ultimately it’s a parent that’s ultimately responsible. I can’t find that in law. And one of the things I’m going to ask in the hearing next week is show me, point to the sentence that says that with three different LLC’s in a row here, you can go through them to the parent. I’ve talked to many lawyers and they laugh. They say the reason to set up LLC’s is to prevent that. And we’ve got an LLC on top of an LLC on top of an LLC. What’s going on here? And Watson said – the other part of his quote was, “They are legally responsible for the safety of the plant.” The parent company is legally responsible for the safety of the plant. And again, every lawyer I’ve spoken to has said that’s not – hang on, let me finish my last line here and then we can open it up. So in closing, the last piece is the other thing that came out today. So two things came up this week that I think put Entergy on the defensive. The first is the leak, which is going to raise the cost to decommission the plant. And it’s just not in the plan. The plan as they’ve presented it is a generic one that really didn’t even include the ground contamination from the AOG building, which we know has moved. And the second piece, then, is the fact that as an LLC, they admitted today that after 60 years, they can walk away and they feel that they are no longer legally bound. Both of those things we as citizens should put the heat on to make sure it doesn’t happen. I guess I’m done. I’ve spoken my – I’ve vented.