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Oyster Creek Generating Station is now in the hands of Holtec

Oyster Creek nuclear plant sale to Holtec is complete,, Amanda Oglesby, Asbury Park Press,  July 2, 2019, LACEY Oyster Creek Generating Station is now in the hands of Holtec – International, which completed the purchase of the now-defunct nuclear facility on Monday.

Oyster Creek, before it shut down in September, was one of the nation’s oldest nuclear power plants. Camden-based Holtec plans to decommission this half-century-old facility and profit off the reactor’s nearly $1 billion decommissioning trust fund, money set aside for dismantling the reactor.

Under the agreement, Holtec subsidiaries Oyster Creek Environmental Protection International LLC will serve as owner and Holtec Decommissioning International will oversee decommissioning.

Holtec purchased the power plant for an undisclosed amount from Exelon Generation of Chicago.

Exelon had originally planned to take the plant down slowly over the course of 60 years in a process that would have allowed some of the facility’s dangerous radioactivity to degrade to safer levels. But Holtec’s proposal seeks to complete the decommissioning within a mere 10 years. The company says its new spent fuel storage systems enable hot, radioactive fuel to be removed from the plant’s cooling pool and placed into storage casks years earlier than originally planned.

Holtec is also applying to build an fuel storage facility in New Mexico, but is waiting on approvals. In the meantime, the spent fuel will be stored in steel and concrete canisters on the plant’s property in Lacey…….

Holtec has also applied to purchase other nuclear plants at Indian Point in New York, Palisades in Michigan, and Pilgrim in Massachusetts from Entergy Nuclear. Each has massive decommissioning trust funds that would be transferred to Holtecupon completion of the sales. …..this is Holtec’s first major expansion into the business of decommissioning.

Currently, Holtec is also developing small modular nuclear reactors….

Inside the cask

Casks hold dangerous radioactive elements like Cesium-137, Strontium-90 and Plutonium-239, fuel bi-products created inside reactors, which remain dangerous for generations.

Here’s what they do to people.


Cesium 137
Can burn skin, cause radiation sickness and damage tissue. In high doses, it can cause cancer.
Is absorbed like calcium within the body and can lead to bone cancer, bone marrow cancer, and cancer in the tissues near bones.
Plutonium 239 and 240
Both remain dangerously radioactive for thousands of years. If inhaled, plutonium particles can scar the lungs, damage bones, liver and spleen and cause cancer.

A local residents group, the Concerned Citizens for Lacey Coalition, is demanding more answers from the company about its plans to quickly demolish Oyster Creek. Coalition member Paul Dressler worries about Lacey being a “guinea pig” for the relatively new and evolving process.

“We want to see transparency,” he said during a meeting with Press staff last week.

Dressler and coalition Chairman Ron Martyn, who live about five miles from the plant, want assurances that Holtec won’t abandon the project if money runs out before completion. They also want to see the regulatory agency that oversees plant decommissioning, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, come up with more stringent rules and best practices for this emerging practice.

“There are too many unanswered questions to go forward, and no one is stepping up to answer the basic business questions,” said Martyn. “It’s not fair to the community, it’s not fair to the state, to operate in such a vacuum.”………

July 4, 2019 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA

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