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“Temporary” nuke waste disposal becoming Permanent, and expensive

If the plant closes in 2012, it would be mothballed, or put into SAFSTOR, until its decommissioning fund reaches the level necessary to clean up the site, which could take up to 60 years.

NRC considers long-term on-site storage of waste, Brattleboro Reformer, By JOSH STILTS,    Aug. 30 2010 BRATTLEBORO – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted earlier this month to explore the option of storing nuclear waste at decommissioned sites past the current 30-year standard…….

The Public Service Board issued a certificate of public good in 2006 allowing Entergy, which owns and operates the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, to store nuclear waste in dry casks on a concrete pad just to the north of the plant’s reactor building.

Spent fuel is stored at nuclear power plants either in spent fuel pools or in dry casks. In the United States, 45 power plant sites have dry cask storage…….

“Some of the plants that were permanently shut down have been totally dismantled, as in the case of Maine Yankee and Connecticut Yankee,” Sheehan said. “If you go to those sites today, all you will find from the nuclear operations are the dry cask storage facilities. Other decommissioned plants, like Millstone, are mothballed, awaiting the shutdown of the other units still operating at the site.” The reactor core holds 368 fuel assemblies, each of which remains in the reactor for 4-anda- half years before being moved to the spent fuel pool. The capacity of the spent fuel pool is 3,355 assemblies and room must be maintained to keep space for the full-core offload of the reactor’s 368 assemblies.

Each dry cask weighs about 100 tons and contains 68 fuel assemblies…….

When a disposal facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada was proposed, in the mid-1980s, it was estimated that it would be opened between 2007 and 2009. Legal and environmental challenges have slowed that process to a halt, which prompted the research into on-site storage, Sheehan said.

“There aren’t many options left,” he said……..

If the plant closes in 2012, it would be mothballed, or put into SAFSTOR, until its decommissioning fund reaches the level necessary to clean up the site, which could take up to 60 years.

By 2012, another seven to eight canisters will need to be filled and if the plant closed that year, 55 to 60 dry casks will be needed. Before any changes to the plan are made however, a special committee, selected by President Obama will have to approve the recommendation by the NRC.

NRC considers long-term on-site storage of waste – Brattleboro Reformer

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August 31, 2010 - Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | , , , , , , , ,

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