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Taiwan doesn’t know what to do with radioactive trash, so decommissioning of 1st nuclear power plant is delayed

Decommissioning of 1st nuclear power plant facing major delay Focus Taiwan 2018/12/03 Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) By Elizabeth Hsu Taiwan is scheduled to begin decommissioning the first reactor of its oldest nuclear power plant in New Taipei on Dec. 5 after 40 years of service, but the deadline will not be met because of questions over how to deal with the plant’s nuclear waste.

The plan to decommission the two reactors in the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant included the construction of an outdoor storage yard at the plant site for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel.

The facility was built in 2013 but has yet to pass a New Taipei government inspection needed to obtain an operating permit, leaving the decommissioning process in limbo.

Hsu Tsao-hua (徐造華), a spokesman for Taiwan Power Company (Taipower), which runs Taiwan’s three nuclear power plants, said that if the storage facility cannot be used, the 816 fuel rods still in the Jinshan plant’s first reactor will have to stay where they are, and the plant’s safety equipment will have to be kept running.

Though the company has planned an indoor storage facility, it will take at least 10 years to build, which could delay the decommissioning process by at least a decade, Hsu warned………..

The thorny spent fuel storage and EIA review issues that will cause the Jinshan plant to miss the scheduled deadline come down to politics, and at least to some extent to the New Taipei  government’s attitude on the issue.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) has declared that his city “can never be the permanent storage place for nuclear waste.”

His position has been at odds with the general stance of his party, which advocates the use of nuclear power as the country moves toward its ultimate goal of becoming a nuclear-free homeland. ……

“Nuclear waste represents pain in the heart of New Taipei (citizens),” said Hou, after the city has co-existed with two nuclear power plants for nearly four decades.

He also argued that nuclear waste should never be stored in a heavily populated city, and he urged the central government and Taipower to find a permanent storage location as soon as possible, a mission the utility has struggled with for years.

New Taipei is the most populous city in Taiwan with a population of 3.99 million as of November, government statistics show.

Even if the decommissioning of the Jinshan power plant were to start on time, it would still be a long process.

Under Taipower’s plan, it would involve eight years to shut the plant down, 12 years to dismantle it, three years to inspect its final condition and two years to restore the land.


December 4, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, Taiwan | Leave a comment

UK’s Sellafield nuclear decommisioning ‘a misuse of public funds’

CORE 31st Oct 2018 The findings of the spending watchdog’s latest report on the status of
Sellafield’s clean-up projects and costs makes yet more dreary reading
for the UK taxpayer – the costs described as ‘a misuse of public
funds’ by a spokesman for the report’s authors the Government’s
Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The PAC report pulls few punches in its
criticism of the way the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is
managing many of the major projects needed to clean up Sellafield. The site
currently receives some £2Bn of public money every year and, over the next
100+ years of decommissioning is expected to cost a total of £91Bn.
In a slight but revealing departure from the pattern of previous reports, PAC
raises the spectre of the UK’s plutonium stockpile (40% of the world’s
global stock) and the latest thinking by Government on its long-term
plutonium management options. [An NDA FoI response to CORE (29.10.18)
suggests an update on its plutonium plans is currently being finalised by
the NDA and could be published in the next month or so]

November 3, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Closing down France’s nuclear power plants

L’express 24th Oct 2018 , Sooner or later, EDF will have to close power plants. In front of the
company is a vast building site with many unknowns. And in the middle
flows the Meuse. Nestled in one of its loops, a few kilometers from the
Belgian border, the two cooling towers of the Chooz nuclear power plant
spew their plumes of white smoke.
On the other side of the river, under the
wooded hillside that has taken the colors of autumn, EDF is leading the
dismantling site of Chooz A. Shut down since 1991this reactor, installed in
an artificial cavern, saw its installations gradually dismantled and
evacuated. Still to settle the fate of the tank. Perched on a metal bridge
over a deep pool where she was diving, a handful of Swedish engineers from
the American company Westinghouse remotely maneuver the articulated arms of
a robot that cut it. A long work, which must occupy until 2022. After
which, the cave Chooz A will be filled with sand, for eternity.

October 25, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor | Leave a comment

Concerns about aging nuclear plants in USA Democratic areas

October 23, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Shikoku Electric Power Company submits plans for dismantling nuclear reactor

Shikoku outlines plans for decommissioning Ikata 2, WNN, 17 October 2018

According to the plan, decommissioning of Ikata 2 will take about 40 years and will be carried out in four stages. The first stage, lasting about ten years, will involve preparing the reactor for dismantling (including the removal of all fuel and surveying radioactive contamination), while the second, lasting 15 years, will be to dismantle peripheral equipment from the reactor and other major equipment. The third stage, taking about eight years, will involve the demolition of the reactor itself, while the fourth stage, taking about seven years, will see the demolition of all remaining buildings and the release of land for other uses.

During the first stage, all fuel is to be removed from the unit. This includes 316 used fuel assemblies that will be sent for reprocessing and 102 fresh fuel assemblies that will be returned to the fuel fabricator.

Ikata 2 became the ninth operable Japanese reactor to be declared for decommissioning since the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

In mid-March 2015, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy revised the accounting provisions in the Electricity Business Act, whereby electric power companies can now calculate decommissioning costs in instalments of up to ten years, instead of one-time as previously. This enhanced cost recovery provision was to encourage the decommissioning of older and smaller units.

Shikoku decided in March 2016 to decommission unit 1 of the Ikata plant, also a 538 MWe PWR, which began commercial operation in September 1977. That unit had been taken offline in September 2011 for periodic inspections. Upgrades costing more than JPY170 billion (USD1.5 billion) would have been needed at the unit in order for it to operate beyond 40 years.

The NRA approved Shikoku’s decommissioning plan for Ikata 1 in June 2017. That plan also sees the unit being decommissioned in four stages over a 40-year period.

Unit 3 at the Ikata plant was given approval by the NRA to resume operation in April 2016, having been idle since being taken offline for a periodic inspection in April 2011. Shikoku declared the 846 MWe pressurised water reactor back in commercial operation on 7 September 2016. However, in December 2017, a Japanese high court ordered the suspension of the unit’s operation. The injunction was effective until the end of last month. The Hiroshima High Court in late September accepted Shikoku’s appeal and cancelled the injunction, allowing the utility to begin the process of restarting the reactor.

October 18, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, Japan | Leave a comment

Would-Be Nuclear Plant Owner Submits Revised Decommissioning Plan for Oyster Creek

 The, Gina G. Scala,, Oct 17, 2018 Less than a month after submitting a license renewal application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Holtec International Inc., a New Jersey-based company known globally for its used nuke fuel management technologies and interested in purchasing the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station from its current owners, submitted a revised report outlining its decommissioning plans for the plant.The Holtec Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report will be reviewed separately from the license transfer application, according to Neil Sheehan, public information officer for the NRC Region 1 office. The license transfer provides information on how and why the company is financially and technically capable of handling the Oyster Creek decommissioning as well as managing the spent nuclear fuel storage onsite for the foreseeable future, he said. In their joint license renewal application, the two companies requested that the NRC adhere to a schedule to help meet a May 1, 2019, deadline for its decision on ownership……..

The revised PSDAR, submitted Sept. 28, highlights the accelerated schedule for the prompt decommissioning of Oyster Creek and the unrestricted release of the site, with the exclusion of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, or spent fuel pad, on site.

“This DECON PSDAR is contingent upon NRC approval of the LTA (license transfer application), completion of transfer of the licenses and asset sale closure. If the licenses are not transferred, this DECON PSDAR will be ineffective, and the May 21, 2018 PSDAR submitted by Exelon Generation will remain in effect,” according to the revised PSDAR. “Exelon Generation has reviewed the contents of this letter and is aligned.”

The Master Summary Schedule is based on the assumptions that the licenses are transferred to Holtec in July 2019, according to the report.

From the beginning, Holtec officials have said the company’s preferred method for decommissioning Oyster Creek was a DECON, or decontamination, method, in which equipment, structures and portions of the facility and site that contain radioactive contaminants are promptly removed and decontaminated to a level that permits termination of the license shortly after cessation of operations.

The one timeline change from an Aug. 15 meeting with the NRC and Exelon Generation is the transfer of spent nuclear fuel to the ISFSI. Under the revised PSDAR report, that activity is slated to be finalized in 2023, providing for the complete dismantlement of the reactor and turbine buildings. Radiological decommissioning, according to the revised plan, is expected to be completed by 2024. That would allow full release of the Route 9 site, located on 779 acres of land in the Forked River section of Lacey Township, with the except of the spent fuel pad.

In August, Holtec’s expedited timeline called for this process to begin with still-hot spent fuel being moved sometime next year and a 2021 completion date, with a full removal from the site by 2034 and full license termination by 2035.

“The Oyster Creek spent fuel is projected to be accepted by the DOE (Department of Energy) for shipment away from the Oyster Creek site in the years 2034 and 2035,” according to the revised report. “Spent fuel storage operations continue at the site, independent of decommissioning operations, until the transfer of the fuel to the DOE is complete. At that time, the ISFSI is decommissioned and the site released for unrestricted use.”

The NRC is currently reviewing applications for two potential interim sites to house spent nuclear fuel, one in Texas and the other in New Mexico. In the meantime, the only option for U.S. nuclear power plants is to store spent fuel from the reactor vessel on site.

Just last month, the deadline to request a public hearing on Holtec International’s interim repository in New Mexico closed. However, there is still time to request a public hearing for a similar spent fuel facility in West Texas. That window closes Oct. 29. The federal agency resumed reviewing the application after it received two letters, dated June 8 and July 19, from Interim Storage Partners, a joint venture between Waste Control Specialists and Orano CIS LLC. …….

October 18, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear fuel removed from Oyster Creek plant – to concrete casks

Shutdown of N.J. power plant continues with removal of nuclear fuel The Associated Press

The owner of what was considered to be America’s oldest nuclear power plant until its shutdown last week says it has removed the nuclear fuel from the reactor.

Chicago-based Exelon Corp. has notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it removed the last of the fuel rods from the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station on Tuesday.

The material was placed into a spent fuel pool where it will cool down for at least two years.

The fuel eventually will be placed into sealed concrete casks for longer-term storage on the grounds of the former plant in Lacey Township in New Jersey.

A Jupiter, Florida company, Holtec International, plans to buy the plant and move the fuel to an interim disposal site it is proposing in New Mexico.

September 28, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

U.S.Cogress seeks funds to compensate communities affected by nuclear power plant shutdowns

Congress looking for money for cities hit by nuclear plant closures — including Diablo Canyon,The Tribune  BY KAYTLYN LESLIE,, September 17, 2018 

September 18, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Former floating nuclear power station is dismantled

Army Corps of Engineers Dismantles Former Floating Nuclear Plant in Galveston than 1.5 million pounds of radioactive waste have been safely removed from the USS Sturgis’ nuclear reactor  SEPTEMBER 18, 2018, HE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS HAS ANNOUNCED THAT A FORMER FLOATING NUCLEAR PLANT IN GALVESTON HAS BEEN DISMANTLED.

More than 1.5 million pounds of radioactive waste have been safely removed from the USS Sturgis’ nuclear reactor. Additionally, more than 600,000 pounds of lead from the vessel have been recycled.

The removal process has taken three years and the Corps said decommissioning the Army’s first and only floating nuclear reactor prototype is now complete.

The World War II vessel was converted into a barge-mounted nuclear reactor in the 1960s.

The Galveston Daily News reported the ship will be towed to Brownsville later this month, where it will be scrapped.

September 18, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor | Leave a comment

Oyster Creek nuclear power station to close on Monday

America’s Oldest Operating Nuclear Power Plant to Retire on Monday OilVoice Press – OilVoice 14-Sep-2018 The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, located 50 miles east of Philadelphia in Forked River, New Jersey, is scheduled to retire on Monday, September 17. The plant first came online on December 1, 1969, making it the oldest commercially operated nuclear power plant in the United States. Oyster Creek was previously expected to retire on December 31, 2019, but its retirement was accelerated by more than a year to coincide with the plant’s fuel and maintenance cycle…………

Oyster Creek will be the sixth nuclear power plant to retire in the past five years. After Oyster Creek’s retirement, the United States will have 98 operating nuclear reactors at 59 plants. Twelve of these reactors, with a combined capacity of 11.7 gigawatts, are scheduled to retire within the next seven years.

Oyster Creek is one of four nuclear power plants—along with Palisades Power PlantPilgrim Nuclear Power Station, and Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station—that have planned retirement dates more than a decade before their operating licenses expire. Economic factors have played a significant role in decisions to continue operating or to retire nuclear power plants, as increased competition from natural gas and renewables has made it increasingly difficult for nuclear generators to compete in electricity markets……..

According to Exelon, Oyster Creek will undergo a six-step decommissioning process. The typical decommissioning period for a nuclear power plant is about 60 years, so parts of the Oyster Creek plant structure could remain in place until 2075. …..

September 14, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

UK’s nuclear wastes- the clean-up will be a bonanza for nuclear companies

Eureka 10th Sept 2018 , The cover story of Eureka’s September issue looks at the programme to
decommission the UK’s legacy nuclear power plant, with particular
emphasis on the opportunities this creates for engineering innovation. The
reasons for this are clear: radioactive environments represent some of the
most challenging engineering scenarios possible, with extended human
presence in them simply not feasible. This means that robotics have a
massive role to play and it is these solutions that are attracting much

What many may not understand is just how massive an undertaking
this decommissioning programme is. Decommissioning across 17 nuclear sites
will take more than a century and involve the expenditure of an estimated
£118 billion pounds over that period. Clearly this offers considerable
scope for investment in and applications of new technologies. The Nuclear
Decommissioning Authority currently offers significant funding for the
right solutions. With that in mind, it would seem a good time for the
UK’s design engineers to step up.

September 12, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear fuel soon to be removed from Japan’s failed Monju fast breeder reactor

Nuclear fuel removal to start at Monju reactor  NHK, 28 Aug 18 The operator of Japan’s Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor plans to soon start removing its nuclear fuel from a storage container as part of the plant’s decommissioning.

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency plans to scrap the reactor in Tsuruga City in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, over 30 years.

Work to move the fuel to a detached storage pool was to start in late July. But it was postponed due to equipment trouble including fogging up of monitoring camera lenses during trials.

The work is now to start on Thursday……..

August 29, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, Japan | Leave a comment

Demolition of Windscale Pile One Stack at Sellafield

Energy Voice 20th Aug 2018, The site of Britain’s worst nuclear accident is to be dismantled as part
of the wider decommissioning of the Sellafield nuclear plant. The planned
demolition of the 360 foot structure will begin later this year. A giant
crane has been constructed to bring it down. The 152m crane is the tallest
structure ever built at Sellafield, just six metres shorter than the
Blackpool Tower. It will begin work this autumn, removing and lowering
chunks of the chimney cut out using diamond wire saws. Duncan Thompson, the
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Sellafield Programme director, said:
“The complex task of decommissioning and demolishing the Windscale Pile
One Stack has reached an important stage. It is another example of the
ingenuity that goes into solving the UK’s decommissioning problems.

August 24, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

Japan’s failed Monju reprocessing reactor- at last the shutdown begins

Final fuel-removal exercise starts for problem-plagued Monju reactor, AUG 19, 2018

The JAEA will launch actual fuel removal operations this month if it finds the work can be conducted safely. It was initially planned to begin late last month but was postponed after problems plagued the equipment test.

In the final exercise, control rods instead of real fuel assemblies will be removed from a container filled with sodium coolant by using the aforementioned equipment. The rods will be then packed in cans after the sodium is rinsed off and transported to a water-filled pool.

It has not been decided when the exercise will end, the agency said.

The decommissioning process for the glitch-riddled Monju is slated to take 30 years.

In the first phase, 530 assemblies in the reactor and a storage container outside the reactor will be moved to the water pool by December 2022. The JAEA has so far transferred only two fuel assemblies to the pool — one in 2008 and the other in 2009.

August 20, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, Japan, reprocessing | Leave a comment

“unwelcome” step towards nuclear plant closures

FirstEnergy takes “unwelcome” step towards plant closures, WNN, 16 August 2018

The company on 15 August said it had filed with the NRC details of the training programme for the professionals who will supervise the removal and on-site storage of fuel from the plants after their shut-down.

“Today’s NRC submission is a necessary milestone for us but not a welcome one,” Don Moul, FES president and chief nuclear officer, said………. A solution must be reached by mid-2019, when FES must either purchase the fuel required for Davis-Besse’s next refuelling or proceed with the shutdown.

August 17, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment