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Oyster Creek stuck with 50 years’worth of stranded nuclear wastes

Oyster Creek’s Spent Nuclear Fuel Casks Aren’t Going Anywhere, Almost 50 years of spent nuclear fuel dry casks are stored at the Route 9 plant in Lacey Township. Lacey Patch By Patricia A. Miller, Patch Staff LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ – The Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant may be closing in October, but the spent nuclear fuel stored at the plant off Route 9 here for nearly 50 years isn’t going anywhere.

Why? There is no place in the United States to store them.

The proposed Yucca Mountain underground storage facility in Nevada never materialized. So nuclear plants around the country have been storing spent nuclear fuel in dry casks onsite for decades. Oyster Creek’s spent fuel is stored in horizontal dry casks in an area located near the entrance checkpoint off Route 9, NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said.

“It is in the plant’s Protected Area, which is the fenced-in, highly secured area,” he said.

Spent fuel pools were originally designed as a short-term solution. The fuel would then cool enough so it could be shipped offsite to be reprocessed.

“But reprocessing didn’t end up being an option for nuclear power plants and the pools began to fill up,” according to the NRC.

Janet Tauro, chairman of the environmental group Clean Water Action and other environmental groups are calling for Oyster Creek’s dry casks to be “hardened,” meaning additional reinforcement in the future. They also want the capability for instrumentation, with the amount of heat and radiation inside each cask able to be monitored.

“Lacey Township is going to be a mini-Yucca,” Tauro said.

Sheehan says Oyster Creek’s dry casks consist of stainless steel canisters that hold the spent fuel. The canisters are then loaded into a steel-reinforced concrete vault.

“The vaults certainly qualify as “hardened,” as they weigh more than 100 tons when loaded and must be able to withstand hurricanes, tornadoes and more,” Sheehan said.

Oyster Creek is the oldest nuclear plant in the United States. It went online in December of 1969. The plant has a General Electric Mark I boiling water reactor, the same as the ill-fated Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

“None of our country’s Fukushima-design reactors should have operated for even one more day
once we saw the catastrophic events publicly unfold worldwide at Fukushima,” said Paul Gunter, of Beyond Nuclear, an anti-nuclear watchdog group……..


February 9, 2018 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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