Attorney General scolds but will not prosecute Vermont Yankee officials

first_imgNorthstar Vermont Yankee,Attorney General William Sorrell announced today that, barring the receipt of additional evidence, his office has completed its criminal investigation and neither Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee (ENVY) nor any of its current or past employees will be charged with having committed perjury when state officials and others were repeatedly misled about the existence of underground piping carrying radionuclides.During January of 2010, discovery of a tritium leak at its plant in Vernon prompted ENVY to inform state officials that during sworn testimony and through other communications in 2008 and 2009, it had provided incorrect information when it denied the existence of underground piping carrying radioactive materials. Then-Governor Jim Douglas, then-President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin and Speaker Shap Smith requested the Attorney General to investigate and determine whether in providing this incorrect information, ENVY or its personnel had violated Vermont’s criminal laws.After a lengthy investigation, including the conducting of dozens of interviews and reviewing tens of thousands of pages of documents, the Attorney General announced that his office lacks sufficient probative evidence to prove perjury beyond a reasonable doubt.‘Clearly, Vermont Yankee personnel repeatedly failed to meet a minimally acceptable standard of credibility and trustworthiness, but proving that perjury took place is another matter entirely. We lack the smoking gun necessary to prove the crime and it would be unethical and irresponsible for us to press criminal charges when we do not have the evidence to meet our heavy burden of proof,’ said the Attorney General.A statement issued from Entergy Vermont Yankee shortly after the 11 am annoncement stated: “We take our responsibility to deal openly and honestly with stakeholders very seriously.  Some employees failed to live up to our highest expectations and values, and after our own internal investigations, we took disciplinary action against them over a year ago.”As the Attorney General himself stated, we cooperated fully during his investigation, providing tens of thousands of pages of documents and full access to all relevant information and employees.   “We are pleased that the Attorney General’s active investigation is now concluded.”Meanwhile, Governor Shumlin said in a statement: ‘I know that the Attorney General’s office worked very hard on this complicated investigation into whether Entergy Louisiana officials broke the law when they misled state officials regarding leaking underground piping at Vermont Yankee. I respect the Attorney General’s conclusion.  However, the facts are not altered by this legal analysis.  The fact is that Entergy Louisiana officials said – under oath – that there were no underground pipes when there were.  The fact is that radioactive tritium leaked from these undisclosed underground pipes.  We expect our businesses to act in a credible and trustworthy manner.  Although the Attorney General has decided not to pursue charges here, his investigation clearly describes the pattern of misinformation by Entergy Louisiana. These facts and others lead to the conclusion that Entergy Louisiana’s business-as’usual is not how we expect businesses to act here in Vermont.’Much of the investigation involved testimony from Entergy VP of Nuclear Operations Jay Thayer, who was Entergy’s former site VP in Vermont, Vermont Yankee Site Vce President Michael Colomb and an affidavit signed by James Rogers, Manager of Design Engineering.The report from Sorrell said that it could not be shown that officials “knowingly and willingly entered into a plan to provide false sworn testimony and such testimony was presented on behalf of the corporation.”Sorrell noted that there were also issues of semantics involved, including what was considered “underground” versus “below grade” and whether “buried” meant piping that is underground and directly in contact with soil (the pipes that leaked the tritium in question were in concrete trenches). The attorney general also had to consider whether everyone was talking about pipes carrying liquids or gases.Thayer was subsequently removed from his position by Entergy and other personnel were shuffled within the corporation or had duties changed at Vermont Yankee.The decision was announced today at a Montpelier press conference. A report (click here for PDF, the first nine pages can be found below) summarizing some of the evidence reviewed and aspects of the applicable law was released.last_img read more

Kearns says Tipp can’t afford mistakes

first_imgKearns says his side’s semi-final win gave him plenty of food for thought…Our build-up to live commentary on the big match will begin at 1.30 on Sunday afternoon – with coverage brought to you in association with Tipperary Co-Op Supervalu, Tipperary Town. Tipperary will have to eliminate some of their defensive failings if they’re to have a chance of winning the Munster senior football final this weekend.Manager Liam Kearns says the team can’t afford a repeat of the closing stages against Cork last time out when they square up to Kerry on Sunday in Killarney. Tipp are seeking to win the provincial title for the first time in over 80 years.last_img

Stena Forth drillship arrives in Guyana

first_imgGuyana moves one step closer toward oil production with the arrival of another drillship, the Stena Forth, which is expected to commence exploration offshore at the Orinduik Block.Earlier this month, oil and gas exploration company, Tullow Oil, had announced the commencement of its search for oil at the Orinduik Block.The Stena Forth drillshipThis operation was possible with the use of the Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) Pacific Leader. As such, the Maritime Department had alerted nearby vessels that the ship would be emitting international signals.This drilling exercise will run until December 31 of this year and the oil company is expected to drill about 82 nautical miles from the coast of Guyana and cover an area of 848 square kilometres.In another notice, the department explained that the company also commenced drilling in the Jethro-1 well site within the Orinduik Block. For this operation, the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit, the newly arrived Stena Forth was sourced.Its drill site is about 95 nautical miles from Guyana’s coast and will cover an area of one square kilometre, bounded by other coordinates. The oil company first inked its interest into Guyana during the second quarter of 2013.In February 2019, Tullow had announced that it was bringing forward its drilling programme from the previously scheduled end of the year to the second quarter. It had announced that the Jethro prospect would be drilled in June. So far, plans have been announced to drill three wells here, namely the Jethro-Lobe, Joe and Carapa.Tullow’s partner in the Orinduik Block, Eco Atlantic, had announced that drilling on the Joe prospect will begin in mid-July of this year. They had announced that the Stena Forth drillship will move directly to the Joe after it finishes drilling the Jethro-Lobe well in the Orinduik Block. It is understood that the Joe is located in approximately 650 metres of water and will cost Eco Atlantic approximately US$3 million to drill. A recently published report from international company Gustavson Associates had estimated that the well has a 43.2 per cent chance of success.Tullow’s Head of Communications George Cazenove told the Guyana Times that jobs will be provided for the Guyanese populace.“Shared prosperity includes a firm commitment to local content… Tullow has made significant efforts in both East and West Africa to make sure that local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, are involved in the supply chain in the oil and gas developments we are involved with,” he was quoted as saying.Meanwhile, oil-giant Exxon Mobil has deployed four drillships for exploration purposes, where 13 massive discoveries were made. The fleet comprises the Stena Carron—which is working at the Longtail 1 discovery, the Noble Bob Douglas at the Liza Phase 1, the Noble Tom Madden at the Yellowtail Well, and Noble Don Taylor.ExxonMobil said there is potential for at least five Floating Productions, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels on the Stabroek Block, producing more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025.The start-up of the Liza Phase 1 development is on track to begin by the first quarter of 2020 and will produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day utilising the Liza Destiny FPSO, which is expected to arrive in the country in the third quarter.Liza Phase 2 is expected to start up by mid-2022. A final investment decision is expected soon, subject to Government and regulatory approvals. Upon approval, the project plans to use the Liza Unity FPSO to produce up to 220,000 barrels per day. Sanctioning of a third development, Payara, is also expected in 2019, with start-up projected for 2023.The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest.last_img read more