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On costs of decommissioning Fort Calhoun nuclear plant, and on security

Q&A session on Fort Calhoun nuclear plant focuses on cost of decommissioning, security, By Cole Epley / Omaha World-Herald staff writer, Jun 1, 2017 

OPPD’s plan to fund dismantling and cleanup of its Fort Calhoun nuclear plant is expected to be sufficient to cover the cost, and the now-closed plant will retain its 24-hour armed security force even after the last building is no longer needed.

That was the message from federal regulators to Omaha Public Power District ratepayers and members of the public Wednesday night at a meeting on decommissioning the reactor. The plant, which closed in October, is 20 miles north of Omaha.

Questions about security — both in terms of armed guards and spent nuclear fuel left on site — and the cost of tearing down and cleaning up the plant were among issues addressed during a question-and-answer session at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Omaha.

 Representatives from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and OPPD fielded questions for about an hour following a general overview of the decommissioning process……

Decommissioning the plant is expected to cost about $1.5 billion in 2016 dollars. By the time the work is completed in some 60 years, the inflation-adjusted cost is expected to be roughly $3 billion…….

Within five years, OPPD will be pulling spent fuel from the storage pool inside one of the buildings and putting it in concrete casks on site. Because the U.S. has no functioning long-term storage site for spent nuclear fuel, the Fort Calhoun site will hold spent fuel in the above-ground casks indefinitely. At least as long as the fuel is there, security guards will be there, the public was told Wednesday.

Significant demolition isn’t expected until the 2050s, once much of the radioactivity at the site has decayed.

Doug Broaddus, head of the NRC branch that oversees plants like Fort Calhoun that are transitioning from operating to decommissioning, said utilities that fall short of the money needed to close their plants generally look to the same place.

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June 2, 2017 - Posted by | decommission reactor, USA

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