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Communities that hosted nuclear reactors now stuck with stranded radioactive trash

The township will be stuck with 753 metric tons of nuclear waste because the U.S. has no plan for its disposal.  Oyster Creek’s used nuclear fuel now goes to the plant’s spent fuel pool, a specially designed area where the fuel cools for five years. After that, it’s moved to dry cask storage in metal canisters safely contained within a massive concrete structure. 

Gary Quinn, Lacey’s former mayor and a current committeeman, said the town never anticipated having to deal with the spent fuel, which stays radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

With nuke plant shutting down, N.J. community inherits 1.7M pounds of waste WHYY By Catalina Jaramillo April 16, 2018 

As nuclear power plants around the country continue to shut down — 20 reactors are already on their way out, and several more are expected to follow — questions remain about what to do with the nuclear waste they leave behind.

The U.S. Department of Energy made the commitment to remove and dispose spent nuclear fuel from reactors starting in 1998, but a federal plan to store that waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada never came to fruition. And there are no plans in place for a permanent spent fuel repository.

Meanwhile, communities hosting nuclear plants — including Lacey Township, New Jersey — face an uncertain future. Exelon’s Oyster Creek nuclear generating station, the oldest operating in the country, will retire in October. The plant, which sits alongside Barnegat Bay, in Ocean County, has served as the town’s main economic driver for 50 years. Residents are anxious about what will happen next.

“Is it going to bring the town down? As far as empty houses, … lost business and things like that,” asked Richard Rom, community president of Pheasant Run, a senior complex with more than 400 residents. “I’m concerned.” ……..

Lacey is not only losing the economic benefits of hosting the nuclear plant. The township will be stuck with 753 metric tons of nuclear waste because the U.S. has no plan for its disposal.  Oyster Creek’s used nuclear fuel now goes to the plant’s spent fuel pool, a specially designed area where the fuel cools for five years. After that, it’s moved to dry cask storage in metal canisters safely contained within a massive concrete structure.

Gary Quinn, Lacey’s former mayor and a current committeeman, said the town never anticipated having to deal with the spent fuel, which stays radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

“When it was first built, it was never agreed upon that it would become a spent fuel storage facility — which … at this point in time appears to be what we’re facing,” Quinn said.

In the case of Oyster Creek, which by the end of 2018 will have approximately 1.66 million pounds of nuclear waste, that would work out to $11.2 million a year for Lacey Township. That’s exactly what the town could be losing in energy tax receipts.

But the bills, which have been referred to committees, have gained no traction……..

right now there’s no guarantee the town will get anything but the radioactive waste, which sits in a concrete structure, next to a parking lot, a few miles from the beach. …..https://whyy.org/articles/with-nuke-plant-shutting-down-n-j-community-inherits-1-7m-pounds-of-waste/

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April 18, 2018 - Posted by | USA, wastes

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