Professions views needed on swathe of new legislation

first_imgEmployers have been urged to put forward their views on three pieces oflegislation that could transform employment relations in the UK. The consultation was announced by Trade and Industry Secretary PatriciaHewitt and includes a review of the Employment Relations Act 1999, which coversprovisions on trade union recognition, collective bargaining, fixed-termcontracts, unfair dismissal compensation and a raft of other regulations. She also launched a discussion paper on the Information and Consultation Directivewhich is due to become law for large organisations from 2005 and will forceemployers to consult at an earlier stage and more fully with their workforce onall issues that may affect their employment, such as redundancies andrestructuring. The third consultation document launched by Hewitt is on employment status,to try and establish if there are groups of workers not covered by existingemployment rights, such as casual or agency workers. Personnel Today has asked the CIPD, the CBI, the Engineering Employers’Federation and the TUC to highlight the main issues involved and to assess whatneeds to be addressed through the consultation process. Information and Consultation DirectiveThe EC directive on informing andconsulting with staff – to be implemented in the UK by 2005 – will forceemployers to consult with employees at an early stage on issues that affecttheir employment, such as redundancies and restructuring.CIPD viewDiane Sinclair, lead public policy adviser at the CIPD, said:”Employers will have to strike the right balance between informing andconsulting with staff and protecting the business interests.”We are pleased the Government is consulting at an earlystage. It is critical that the resulting law in the UK reflects the importanceof economic and business performance as well as fair treatment of employees.”It is going to be critical for people managementspecialists how much flexibility they require in their organisation and howmuch certainty they need. That is going to be difficult and getting thisbalance right is going to be crucial.”We need to look at good practice and see what sort ofbalance would be most effective. We are delighted the Government is seekingexamples of good practice, which is a good starting point. It is essential thatCIPD members who have expertise in this area are willing to participate.”CBI viewKatja Klasson, head of employee relations for the CBI, said:”I think it is important in the debate on consultation that the Governmentrecognises that employers consult with their employees in a number of ways. “We were opposed to the directive, but we know theGovernment has to implement it. We would argue for maximum flexibility to allowemployers and staff to come to arrangements that suit them. It is importantemployers are involved in this consultation process from an early stage, toensure the end result is workable.”Employers should also be thinking about reviewing thearrangements they have to inform and consult with staff.”EEF viewDavid Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy for theEngineering Employers Federation, said: “It [the consultation] does notget us any closer to the Government’s thinking on how it is going to implementthe directive. It is a very green document which asks a lot of questions aboutinformation and consultation. We will be seeking views over what is happeningon the ground. All the evidence shows that a lot of practice is variable withdifferent approaches being adopted. One size does not fit all.”We will be making the point that many of our companiesare not only quoted on the UK stock market, but in a number of other places aswell.” TUC viewSarah Veale, senior employment rights officer for the TUC,said: “We welcome the directive, we think there is a need for it. Only theUK and Ireland were opposed to it. It is for fine for employers to devise theirown systems, as long as they broadly comply with the terms of the directive.There are some employers which don’t consult with their workforce beyond anotice or e-mail. There must be some basic default mechanism that employersmust use.”Veale said the TUC wants the legislation to include some formof sanctions to penalise companies that breach it. “We would like to see some form of enforcement through theCentral Arbitration Committee with recourse to the courts in extreme cases.”Employers can access the DTI’sdiscussion paper on www.dti.gov.uk/er/consultation/informconsult.htmand have until 11 December to make responses.Employment StatusThe discussion document on employmentstatus will consider a number of issues, including whether there are anycategories of workers currently excluded from statutory employment rights andwhether extending employment rights would change the relationship betweenemployers and staff.CBI viewKatja Klasson, head of employee relations for the CBI, said:”We do not agree that there is a group of workers who are exploited andbeing treated as second-class citizens. Some workers value the flexibility thatthese forms of work [agency and casual] offer. “Many workers choose to work through agencies because theydon’t want to be tied to one employer. This flexibility benefits both employerand employee. We think many of these rights would not be appropriate for theseworkers. If you have a worker who is employed for only three or four weeks andtowards the end says ‘I’m going on maternity leave’, it would be unworkable.”TUC viewSarah Veale, senior employment rights officer for the TUC,believes the review of employment status is overdue. “As things stand alot of workers are completely excluded from employment rights such as agencyworkers and casual workers. The problem is that UK employment law sometimesrefers to workers and sometimes to employees. Tribunals have to decide ifsomeone is a worker or an employee. Health and safety and discrimination lawsare completely different on the issue. People who are classed as casual workerscan never claim unfair dismissal. For both employers and workers it isimportant that this is clarified.”CIPD viewMike Emmott, CIPD head of employment relations, believes theconsultation is unnecessary. He said: “Workers on fixed-term contracts will be coveredby legislation by this autumn. Part-time workers are already covered. Thepurpose of this is to give the TUC a chance to bring forward evidence thatthere are current groups that should be treated as employees who are not beingtreated as employees.”EEF view David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy for theEngineering Employers’ Federation, said: “This is not the most significantissue affecting our members, but it will be important for a number of them. Wewill identify the companies likely to be affected by this and get their views.We will be looking at the practical implications.” Employers have until 11 December tosubmit their views and can access the document on www.dti.gov.ukReview of the Employment Relations Act 1999The Government is to review theoperation of statutory union recognition and de-recognition procedures and thewider provisions of the act including: fixed-term contracts, part-time workers,employment agency regulation and industrial relations institutions such as theCentral Arbitration Committee and the Advisory Conciliation and ArbitrationService (ACAS).EEF viewDavid Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy for theEngineering Employers’ Federation, said: “We think it is a somewhatpremature review given that the legislation has only been in force a shortspace of time. However, if the Government is going to review the legislation,we do have some concerns, which we will be passing on. We feel that decisionsmade by the Central Arbitration Committee panel should be more explicit overwhy they have reached a conclusion and judgement on certain issues.”Yeandle is unhappy that the TUC is trying to have staffemployment rights begin from the first day of employment. “We also havesome serious concerns over suggestions being put forward by the TUC. Reducingthe qualification period for employment rights was not an issue covered by theEmployment Relations Act. The TUC seem to be using the review to try and putadditional issues on the table.”TUC viewSarah Veale, senior employment rights officer for the TUC,welcomed the review as an early opportunity to see if the legislation wasworking in practice.”This is complex legislation including trade unionrecognition, industrial action law and a whole range of other issues. “When the legislation was going through parliament therewas agreement that some areas were not perfected, for example the exclusion ofsmall firms from recognition agreements. It is clear there are some areas thatneed fine-tuning.”The TUC will also be pushing to have a reduction in theyear-long qualification period employees must work before they can sue forunfair dismissal. CIPD viewDiane Sinclair, lead public policy adviser at the CIPD, said:”It is difficult to see what is coming under the microscope. TheGovernment has simply set out all the provisions of the Act, which wouldsuggest a very wide-ranging exploration.”We need to see what the proposals are before we canpresent the profession’s views. “In terms of statutory union recognition, we don’t thinkthere is a great deal of evidence that would suggest changes are required. Wewould like to see organisations given more time to deal with the Act. We willbe consulting members once the Government has firmed up its proposals.”In terms of zero-hours contracts, we will be happy toparticipate in the review, but it seems difficult to see what can be changedwhere employees will be happy to work on that basis.”CBI viewKatja Klasson, head of employee relations for the CBI, said:”Our starting point is very much ‘what is the problem this review istrying to solve?’. The labour market in the UK is working well. We have lowunemployment, relatively few days lost through strikes and there is no reason formajor change.”The consultation has not yetopened, but the terms of reference covering the areas being reviewed can beaccessed at www.dti.gov.uk/er/emar/fullemp.pdf Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Professions views needed on swathe of new legislationOn 23 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

My resources

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. My resourcesOn 2 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Bev Shears, HR director, South West TrainsPublications I love articles that are controversial, thought-provoking, witty andirreverent – usually written by the best in our profession, who are the bestbecause they are original thinkers, high achievers, and retain personality andhumour while championing their business and their people. I avoid the ‘It’s notfair that HR isn’t on the board’ people and those of their ilk. Books I am an avid reader with very catholic tastes in both fiction andnon-fiction. Anything from chick-lit to clinical psychology. I have beenreading a lot about the employer brand and leadership.  I Don’t Know How She Does It, by AllisonPearson, had me crying with laughter, and as a working mother of two, I wrylyacknowledged the book’s truths and insights – the ‘Muffia’ and ‘Mother Superiour’were particularly well observed. Television My favourite programme is The Sopranos; anything you need to know aboutfamilies and organisational culture is all there. Immediate feedback on poorperformance and reward and recognition for success is clearly the ‘wastemanagement’ industry’s philosophy. Radio I listen when I’m driving, but I switch to CDs if it gets too inane. I likeradio news, which tends not to trivialise in the way that television does. Internet My favourite internet sites are Tesco Direct and Opodo – sorts out thegroceries and the travel. Ask Jeeves is my favourite search engine at home, andSouth West Trains operates Open Learning Centres and at-home learning throughLearn Direct, so our staff and their families can learn through the company.  I think the net is great but I tend to use itfor specific things, while my family surfs for hours. last_img read more

Future working, future risks – why we need a debate around AI, new tech and health and safety

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Future working, future risks – why we need a debate around AI, new tech and health and safetyOn 4 Jan 2019 in Job creation and losses, Occupational Health, Wellbeing and health promotion, Personnel Today A robot stocks a shelf during RoboCup, Japan Aflo/REX/Shutterstock Technology is transforming both our work and leisure lives, bringing opportunities but also risks, predominantly around precarious working, “always on” organisational cultures and increased automation. And health and safety and health and wellbeing need to be very much a part of this discussion, suggests Matthew HolderThe speed at which technology and the way we work are changing has led many to refer to our current period as the “Industrial Revolution 4.0”. Automation, artificial intelligence and a working style that can be more impactful on our mental than our physical health have all combined to create major changes in the everyday life of the working person.About the authorMatthew Holder is head of campaigns and engagement at the British Safety CouncilSince the Health and Safety at Work Act was introduced in 1974, fatal and non-fatal workplace injuries have dropped by 85% and 58% respectively. But historical ignorance of dangerous materials means that thousands of people still die every year from illnesses that could have been prevented. With new materials and technologies being introduced all the time, it is vital that we continue to educate ourselves on the physical and psychological risks that come with development.Today’s workplaceIn our recent Future Risk report, RobertsonCooper’s Sir Cary Cooper CBE said: “The future of work, at least for the next 10 or 20 years, was set by the recession. It has had a prolonged impact that has created a workplace where there are fewer people doing more work.”The report also highlighted Britain’s “gig economy” – or the culture of short-term and zero hours contracts leaving workers with a lack of security. The UK job market has become more fluid and more freelanced, raising questions about whether the skills currently required for modern working will still be relevant in decades to come.While workplaces have become safer and more risk-aware in recent years, the psychological impact of job instability and longer hours worked is taking its toll. The UK lost an estimated 12.5 million working days to poor mental health in 2017, accounting for almost 50% of all absence. This marks a clear need for improved wellbeing strategies, not just to tackle existing issues but to safeguard for a future where this figure seems otherwise set to increase.Automation, AI and ICTThe Health and Safety Executive has indicated that 11 million jobs – or more – may become surplus in the next 20 years as a result of automation in industries such as automotives and electronics.Changing technology in many cases already involves what some refer to as “co-bots”, robotics and automated processes that still require human collaboration.As well as minimising opportunities for human error, new technology can allow dangerous tasks to be taken off an employee’s to-do list. From a health and safety perspective the minimising of physical risk is key, but for many workers the fear of being replaced by machines will only continue to grow in the near future.In addition to this, questions are raised about the materials we work with. It seems unlikely that another asbestos crisis could happen now, but potential risks associated with new nanotechnologies need to be pre-empted and prevented.Other technological changes in our working lives have come from ICT – portable technologies and high-speed browsing that mean many workers never truly “switch off” when their working day is done. For a growing number of employees, the work-life balance is becoming poorly weighted, with concerns about job security driving staff to overwork themselves, and preventing them from expressing concerns about their working lives.Mitigating riskAccording to research by REBA, the number of organisations with a wellbeing strategy grew 20% last year to a total of 45% overall. Employee Assistance Programmes, health screenings and discounted gym memberships are common offerings being made to try and boost staff morale and wellbeing, but businesses must take a forward-thinking, people-centred approach to mitigate future risks.While flexible working in the extreme can feel insecure, an element of flexibility helps to provide a better work-life balance and increase feelings of trust between employers and employees. The value of supporting employee mental health has been proven, with a wellbeing project from South Liverpool Homes decreasing employee absence by 54% in its first year and saving them £25,000 in lost working days. Somerset County Council’s £500,000 stress reduction programme is also a well-publicised success, saving them £1.9 million over a three-year period thanks to increased staff engagement, attendance and productivity.More than half of UK employers currently have no wellbeing strategy in place, something that will have to change to ensure the protection and support of the working community ongoing. As well as keeping up with developments and training in physical risks, employers must start to view the mental health of their staff in the same way and to champion psychological wellbeing with the same sense of urgency and importance.According to British Safety Council chief executive Mike Robinson: “Whether it’s 24/7 working, the ‘gig’ economy or the drive towards automation, our mental and physical health, even our very sense of self, is at risk.“Safety has not gone away either in the future world of work, with the physical risks of working in close proximity with robots calling for new thinking in design, training and regulation,” he adds.Across all industries, a need for better quality employment and a clearer understanding of risk is crucial. Chasing to catch up with the pace of innovation is not enough – businesses of all sizes must consider how automation and always-on technology can and will affect their staff, and work to stay ahead of the curve.ReferenceFuture risk report: The impact of work on health, safety and wellbeing, British Safety Council, https://www.britsafe.org/campaigns-policy/future-risk/report/Work-related Stress, Depression or Anxiety Statistics in Great Britain 2017, HSE, November 2017, http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress/stress.pdfEmployee Wellbeing Research 2018: Staff mental health and pressure at work top concerns for UK CEOs, March 2018, https://reba.global/content/reba-wellbeing-research-2018-employee-mental-health-and-pressure-at-work-top-concerns-for-uk-ceosGrowing the health and well-being agenda: From first steps to full potential, CIPD case study, January 2016, https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/well-being-report-case-study_2016_tcm18-10457.pdf Previous Article Next Article No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Websitelast_img read more

TPG RE Finance CEO Greta Guggenheim stepping down

first_imgGreta Guggenheim (Getty)The head of TPG Real Estate Finance Trust is stepping down next month.Company CEO Greta Guggenheim, who joined the commercial mortgage REIT in 2016, will depart on March 31, Commercial Observer reported.“I have been thinking about my retirement for some time, actually since late 2019, after having helped build the company and with the intention of leaving it well positioned for future growth,” Guggenheim said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call Thursday morning. “This was delayed a bit, but with the strength of our balance sheet restored, our strong liquidity position, and with our experienced management and origination team, I feel now is a good time to move on.”TPG RE Finance’s president, Matthew Coleman, will take over the day-to-day responsibilities while the company looks for a new CEO.Guggenheim, who previously co-founded Ladder Capital and served as the company’s chief investment officer, joined TPG Real Estate five years ago to build out the company’s real estate debt platform. She shepherded the REIT through a tumultuous period last year when TPG and other lenders faced significant liquidity issues at the onset of the pandemic.Starwood Capital Group ended up providing the REIT with $325 million to recapitalize its platform in May. TPG Real Estate was forced to sell off more than $1 billion in assets to meet margin calls. The company also delayed its dividend in March amid the cash crunch.TPG Real Estate Finance Trust reported a loss of $136.8 million for 2020 on revenue of $177 million. [CO] — Rich BockmannContact Rich Bockmann Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Email Address* Full Name*center_img Share via Shortlink Message*last_img read more

Prep Sports Roundup: 9/30

first_img Brad James Tags: Roundup September 30, 2020 /Sports News – Local Prep Sports Roundup: 9/30 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailVolleyballRegion 18KANAB, Utah-Kanab bested Parowan 3-0 Wednesday in Region 18 volleyball action. Kanab netted wins of 25-21, 25-12 and 25-9 to dismantle the Rams in straight sets.Region 20MILFORD, Utah-Paige James had 23 assists and the Milford Tigers overpowered Bryce Valley 3-0 in Region 20 volleyball action Wednedsday. The Tigers posted wins of 25-18, 25-19 and 25-17 to bust the Mustangs in straight sets.ESCALANTE, Utah-The Escalante Moquis downed Panguitch 3-2 Wednesday in Region 20 volleyball action. Written bylast_img read more

Press release: Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP statement

first_img I will update Parliament when the House returns from Recess next week. We will continue to work with everyone to make sure we do deliver this. We now need to consider practical steps. The position of the UK Government remains the same: devolved government is in the best interests of everyone in Northern Ireland and is best for the Union. I believe the basis for an accommodation still exists. I would urge everyone to reflect on the circumstances which have led to this and their positions, both now and in the future. In the continued absence of an Executive, other challenging decisions will have to be taken by the UK Government. As the Prime Minister said during her visit on Monday, we are ready to bring forward legislation to enable an Executive to be formed. While substantive progress towards an agreement has been made, it appears that this phase of talks has reached a conclusion. Both parties have conducted discussions seriously and in good faith. Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said:last_img read more

Covid-19 Special Edition: Let us help your business

first_imgBritish Baker has worked alongside the baking industry for decades, sharing business-essential information even during the most difficult times.With the industry facing a wide range of unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, we are working to ensure our readers have the information they need, when they need it.Alongside our daily news coverage, we are offering advice from industry experts and other bakery businesses on how to navigate their way through the current pandemic.Our website, britishbaker.co.uk, now features an area dedicated to coronavirus that has official guidance on topics such as social distancing, and stories of how bakers are adapting to the new trading environment.This special-edition newsletter features some of this content, and we will be sharing further advice and information as it becomes available.Also, if you’re a subscriber to the magazine, but cannot get to your copy because you are working at home, you can access the digital version of the magazine here.Many thanks, and stay safe,Vince BamfordEditor, British Bakerlast_img read more

Wedding and Funeral Extend Off-Broadway

first_imgMy Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral, which play in repertory off-Broadway, will extend their run to September 28. Directed by Sonia Blangiardo, the shows play at St Luke’s Theatre. Starring and written by Anthony Wilkinson, My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral are both loosely based on his own wacky Italian family. Wedding tells the story of Anthony Pinnunziato (Wilkinson), a gay Italian-American who wants to marry his boyfriend Andrew in a traditional wedding ceremony. Funeral tells the story of Anthony and his large family mourning the death of his father. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 22, 2015 The current cast of Wedding and Funeral also includes Hugh Hysell as Maurizio, Donna Castellano as Angela, Marissa Rosen as Maria, Debra Toscano as Toniann,  Liz Gerecitano as Lucia, Meagan Robar as Connie, Erik Ransom as Rodney (Wedding) and Vidal (Funeral), Chad Kessler as Father Rosalia (Wedding) and Rabbi Horowitz (Funeral), Brandon Goins as Andrew (Wedding) and Ezio (Funeral), Joe Scanio as Joseph (Wedding), Brant Michaels as Mario (Wedding), Josh Drake as Frankie (Wedding), Jonathan Wiener as Gregorio (Wedding), David Demato as Peter (Funeral), Mustafa Gatollari as Dominick (Funeral), Beth Dzuricky as Ondine (Funeral), with ensemble members Marie Fontaine and Fred Ross. My Big Gay Italian Wedding Related Shows View Commentslast_img read more

National winners

first_imgThe University of Georgia can add a new national title to its academic lineup. At a university often known for its sports, it was food science students who brought home top honors on July 19 at the annual international Institute of Food Technologists conference held in Chicago.After winning the southeast regional IFT Student Association competition in March in Huntsville, the team continued its undefeated streak through the national competition. They faced off against the University of Delaware team twice – once in the preliminary rounds and again in the final round after Delaware cleaned up the loser’s bracket.It’s tradition to celebrate any national title win, and this one was no exception. UGA topped off its win with a chant of “UGA, UGA, UGA” across the grand ballroom at conference center McCormick Place, led by UGA food science and technology graduate coordinator Mark Harrison.“The winning’s very nice, but, realistically, being able to meet my colleagues both current and future and being able to test myself against my peers, is a wonderful thing,” said George Cavender, a food science and technology doctoral student with UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Cavender both coached and led the team as captain. Other members were graduate students Amudhan Ponrajan and Kathryn Acosta and undergraduates Jessica Highsmith and Winnie Lim. UGA assistant professor Ron Pegg was the team’s faculty adviser. It took the UGA students four consecutive years of winning at the regional level to finally pull together their national title. Now they’re ineligible to ever compete in the college bowl again.Cavender is okay with that.“If you’re going to retire from national competition, that’s the best way to retire,” he said of their win. Plus, he plans to graduate in December.Georgia historyTwenty-five years ago, the IFT Student Association College Bowl was first held in Atlanta.“UGA has never won an event until now,” Pegg said. “And on the 25th anniversary, they brought the win back to Georgia.”Besides the four wins that Cavender has been apart of, UGA has two other regional titles.In the southeast region, they compete against Clemson University, Louisiana State University, University of Florida, Alabama A&M University, Mississippi State University and Auburn University.Big eventMore than 21,000 people from more than 70 countries attended the IFT10 meeting. According to Pegg and Cavender, it’s the food industry’s premier organization.“It’s a phenomenally powerful networking tool,” Cavender said of the conference. And as for the college bowl, “I think it’s a very helpful thing. It encourages the retention of knowledge, and it increases students’ ability to speak in front of a crowd.”Being drilled with questions by IFT judges makes later public speaking easier, he said.Questions at the college bowl ranged from identifying an unshelled almond to determining whether certain bacteria are gram positive or gram negative (most of the more harmful bacteria, like E. coli, are gram negative).More awardsThe UGA team wasn’t the only UGA representative to bring home awards. Recent UGA graduate Ashley Hart won second place in the IFT Undergraduate Student Paper Competition. She co-wrote her winning paper, “Blackberry polyphenolic inhibition of proinflammatory mediators released from murine RAW 264.7 macrophage cell lines,” with Pegg and Phillip Greenspan, an associate professor in the UGA Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences.“It felt amazing doing so well at a national competition like the IFTSA undergraduate research competition,” Hart said. “Even being one of the six finalists was an honor, so when I won second place, it was an extremely rewarding experience, definitely worth all that hard work.”Hart is finishing up a summer internship with PepsiCo in New York and plans to attend graduate school.last_img read more

Vermont Health Department monitors newly contaminated wells at Vermont Yankee

first_imgIn the past month, three groundwater monitoring wells that previously tested negative for tritium have now been shown to be contaminated. All three wells ‘ GZ-23S, GZ-6 and GZ-24S ‘ are north of the underground plume of tritium-contaminated groundwater that the Health Department has been monitoring for the past 13 months. GZ-23S is much closer to the plume, as it is currently defined, compared to GZ-6 and GZ-24S. GZ-23S is approximately on a line between GZ-12 and GZ-13, two sites that have both yielded samples positive for tritium over the last several months. ( Vermont Yankee Groundwater Well Map )These newest results could be evidence that the original plume is broadening from north to south along the river, or that there are other sources responsible for tritium contamination. Vermont Yankee is investigating nearby plant structures, systems and components to determine the source. Northstar Vermont Yankee,The Vermont Department of Health received laboratory data late last week from Entergy Vermont Yankee that indicates samples from groundwater monitoring well GZ-23S tested positive for low levels of tritium. Vermont Yankee’s lower limit of detection (LLD) for tritium is in the range of 670 to 700 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The test results for the samples collected from GZ-23S during the week of January 24 were 714 and 721 pCi/L. The only sample from GZ-23S that the Health Department Laboratory has received and analyzed so far was taken on December 6 ‘ tritium was not detected in that sample. Vermont Yankee officials also noted that they are plotting all of the underground utilities that run through the plume from the Advanced Off-Gas (AOG) building area. This will help in evaluating whether these structures and components could act as conduits of tritium from the AOG plume into the area sampled by wells GZ-24S and GZ-6. Vermont Yankee officials have verified that they have made provisions to keep the river’s edge site free from winter ice that could prevent testing, and that they plan to sample the COB well again in February.   Groundwater ExtractionAccording to Vermont Yankee, as of February 3 approximately 317,000 gallons of tritium-contaminated groundwater has been pumped out of the ground to date, with approximately 9,700 of those gallons extracted since the re-start of that process on December 30, 2010. Sampling ProvisionsThe Health Department has been urging Vermont Yankee to sample river water at the river’s edge near the centerline of the AOG plume. Groundwater Monitoring Well ResultsThe results that follow are as reported by Vermont Yankee for tritium on February 3, 2011. In addition, Vermont Yankee has been reporting sample results every day to the Health Department since February 1, 2011.As of this report, 11 of the 31 groundwater monitoring wells are testing positive for tritium. With the exception of wells GZ-23S, GZ-6 and GZ-24S, the trend over the past several months has been that tritium concentrations in groundwater near plant structures, systems and components are decreasing. Trends for wells GZ-14 and GZ-22D, the two extraction sites, are trending downward as expected. Trends for GZ-23S, GZ-6 and GZ-24S, as described above, have remained relatively stable over the past two weeks. For this week, only GZ-15 had an increased tritium concentration compared to the last sample date.To date, gamma spectroscopy and special analyses for hard-to-detect radionuclides have not identified any other nuclear power plant-related radioactive materials in groundwater, drinking water or river water.GZ-1: GZ-2: GZ-3: 108,000 on 1/31/11, down from 121,275 on 1/24/11GZ-4: 70,000 on 1/31/11, down from 78,555 on 1/24/11GZ-5: GZ-6: GZ-7: 3,117 on 1/31/11, down from 3,474 on 1/4/11GZ-8: No sample; dry wellGZ-9: GZ-10: GZ-11: GZ-12S: 1,877 on 1/31/11, down from 3,268 on 1/17/11GZ-12D: 114,962 on 1/31/11, down from 130,857 on 1/17/11GZ-13S: GZ-13D: 880 on 1/31/11, down from 1,095 on 1/4/11GZ-14S: 334,136 on 1/31/11, down from 442,149 on 1/10/11GZ-14D: GZ-15: 144,700 on 1/26/11, up from 141,585 on 1/4/11GZ-16: GZ-17: GZ-18S: GZ-18D: GZ-19S: GZ-19D: GZ-20: GZ-21: 6,853 on 1/31/11, down from 8,673 on 1/17/11GZ-22D: 354,906 on 1/31/11, down from 398,557 on 1/17/11GZ-23S: GZ-24S: 4,857 on 2/3/11, down from 8,139 on 1/26/11GZ-25S: GZ-26S: GZ-27S: Source: Vermont Department of Health 2.7.2011 Vermont Yankee officials noted that the soils near GZ-24S and GZ-6 are of very low permeability. This means groundwater moves slowly through the soils. State officials will get further hydrogeological information at a technical briefing scheduled for February 10. The Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation have recommended for some time that samples be frequently obtained from the Construction Office Building (COB) well. Regular sampling will help determine the tritium concentration in this former drinking water well, which is 360 feet deep into bedrock, and help to better understand if other deep water sources could become contaminated. Groundwater Source InvestigationIn a teleconference on February 3, Vermont Yankee noted that it had completed pressure testing of two piping runs suspected as possible sources of new leaks. These are two of five piping runs that are high on the list of possible sources near GZ-24S. In fact, the well was sited at this location to monitor these particular piping runs. Pressure testing indicated that these two piping runs do not appear to be leaking. Preparations are underway to pressure test the other three piping runs. All of these five piping runs are drain lines for systems that normally carry gases. This means that less liquid travels through them. It also means that the concentration of other radioactive materials like cobalt-60, cesium-137 and strontium-90 (Co-60, Cs-137 and Sr-90) should be lower as compared to liquid processing lines. Vermont Yankee officials noted, however, that the concentration of tritium in these drain lines is similar to that of systems that process predominantly liquids with concentrations of about 3 million pCi/L. The Health Department Laboratory will continue to perform additional analyses on well samples from this new investigation area.last_img read more