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Vogtle nuclear power plant to go ahead – but could be stalled later

The NRC’s effort to resolve the nuclear waste dilemma, however, could yield new regulations that would affect Plant Vogtle’s completion date

Spent fuel from decades of operating Plant Vogtle’s units 1 and 2, meanwhile, has nearly filled the available storage space in the pools.

NRC nuclear licensing freeze won’t stall Vogtle The Augusta Chronicle By Rob Pavey, Aug 10,    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision this week to suspend final approval of new nuclear power plant licenses leaves just two projects – including Plant Vogtle – fully authorized to build and operate the first new U.S. reactors in a generation.

The moratorium, which also stalls license renewals for existing plants, will remain in
place while regulators re-evaluate the safety and environmental impacts of storing spent nuclear fuel at commercial reactor sites.
The fate of about 75,000 tons of spent fuel in pools or casks at the
nation’s 104 operating reactors is in limbo because the government’s
planned nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain was halted
by the Obama administration and a new solution has not been defined.
A coalition of environmental groups sought the licensing delay after a
federal appeals court in Washington ruled in June that NRC’s plan to
allow long-term storage of radioactive waste at individual reactors
was insufficient, according to The Associate Press…..
The NRC’s effort to resolve the nuclear waste dilemma, however, could yield new regulations that would affect Plant Vogtle’s completion
date, said Tom Clements, the nonproliferation policy director for the
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.
“The combined operating licenses will possibly have to be adjusted
pending what happens with the waste confidence issue, and changes to
both license conditions and construction activities are quite
possible,” he said. “If there were no final regulations in place for
spent fuel management – or if the waste confidence regulations were
not yet implemented at the reactor sites – then it is possible that
reactor startup and operation would be impacted.”
Spent fuel from decades of operating Plant Vogtle’s units 1 and 2, meanwhile, has nearly filled the available storage space in the pools.
Construction is under way to build an above-ground “cask storage”
system, which the NRC will license for up to 20 years before a renewal
is required… http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2012-08-10/nrc-nuclear-licensing-freeze-wont-stall-vogtle?v=1344595596

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August 11, 2012 - Posted by | general

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