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Dismantling nuclear reactors in Snowdonia; should be cleaned up by 2083, if We’re lucky

Trawsfynydd: Nuclear reactors to go under new decommissioning plan, By George Herd, BBC News, 30 July 2020   

Plans have been unveiled to remove nuclear reactors and towers at a former power plant in Snowdonia.

It follows a decision to name Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd as the lead project for former Magnox stations in the UK.

The twin reactors will become the very first in the UK to be fully decommissioned.

It should safeguard hundreds of jobs at the plant for 20 years, and help drive decommissioning plans at other sites.

There are 10 former Magnox nuclear power stations in the UK, which have all now stopped generating electricity – the last being Wylfa on Anglesey in 2015.

Trawsfynydd was shut down in 1991 after operating for a quarter of a century.

Under original plans, the twin reactor buildings that tower over the landscape were due to be reduced in height by two-thirds, and then left in a care and maintenance phase, before the site is completely cleared in 2083.

The new programme will see the remaining reactor buildings demolished, while a new low-level radioactive waste store is built on the site to hold the material.

Magnox, which operates the site on behalf of the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said it estimated there would be 50,000 cubic metres of very low or low-level waste retained, until a new geological waste disposal site is identified by the UK government. …..

Magnox said it was still in the “early days” of planning the next phase of active decommissioning at Trawsfynydd, and would be launching consultations with stakeholders, including the community.

It said it envisaged a 20 year programme to:

  • Remove the reactor building’s concrete panel outer shell down to ground level
  • Remove the six 1,000 tonne boilers stored in sections and the 45 tonne overhead crane from each reactor, for off-site disposal
  • Remove the reactors, their components and the reactor core
  • Demolish the remaining reactor buildings

State of the art robotics and remote handling will be used to dismantle Trawsfynydd’s twin reactors and “minimise the risk of radiation dose to workers”.

Magnox said it still expected the site to be completely cleared by the 2083 target……

“There is a duty on the nuclear sector and today’s electricity users to take responsibility for the clear-up of sites, and Trawsfynydd’s twin reactors will be the first to be completely decommissioned in the United Kingdom,” said the Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd. “In this respect, work undertaken here will lead the entire sector, and open opportunities for a whole new generation of engineers.”…. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-53595839

August 1, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

Dismantling of San Onofre nuclear station, but high level radioactive trash remains onsite

San Onofre Decommissioning Update  https://www.kpbs.org/news/2020/jul/27/san-onofre-decommissioning-update/ Monday, July 27, 2020, By Alison St John  Work continues to dismantle the San Onofre nuclear power plant, which provided San Diego with 20% of its electricity until 2012 when it shut down prematurely, due to a radiation leak. The process of decommissioning the plant is more controversial than its 44 years in operation. The question is whether the high-level nuclear waste, which remains radioactive for tens of thousands of years, can be safely disposed of?

Rob Nikolewski, energy reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune, has been following the progress of decommissioning and storing the radioactive waste.

Nikolewski said one very large chunk classified as low-level nuclear waste has already been transported to a storage site near Clive, Utah. The 770-ton reactor vessel was shipped by rail and a convoy of eight trucks across over 400 miles to its destination. Millions more pounds of low-level waste will be broken down into smaller pieces and transported to Clive, where the private company Energy Solutions has a licensed repository.

However the high-level waste — hundreds of spent fuel rods — remains on-site, since the federal government has failed to approve a long- term storage site for the nation’s high-level nuclear waste. Southern California Edison, which owns the plant, has nearly finished transferring canisters of highly radioactive spent fuel rods into over 70 concrete bunkers next to the beach.

Earlier this month the California Coastal Commission approved Edison’s permit for the decommissioning, including removing the cooling pools which originally held the stored spent fuel rods. The Commissioners reserved the right to review the permit in 15 years and if there is evidence of cracking or other problems such as sea-level rise that threaten the integrity of the canisters, the permit holder could be required to move them.

San Diego Congressman Mike Levin is concerned about the safety of the site, which is in his district and has millions of people living within 50 miles. Levin convened a task force that met for a year and recently came out with a report. One recommendation is that since the federal government has not approved a long-term storage site for high-level nuclear waste, the state of California should take more responsibility for how the nuclear waste is disposed of.

Nikolewski said he has not seen any evidence of state officials stepping forward to hold the companies accountable. He said federal law may need to be changed to allow for that.

The distinctive twin domes that are visible from the Interstate 5 will be removed sometime between 2025 and 2027, and decommissioning the plant, including removal of the low-level nuclear waste, should be complete within 6 to 8 years. The high-level waste will remain indefinitely, in bunkers near the beach.

July 28, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

770-ton nuclear reactor pressure vessel completes trip to Utah

July 21, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Problems and dangers face the dismantlement of damaged Three Mile Island nuclear reactor

It’s been more than 41 years, but Stephen Mohr still remembers how he knew something went wrong at the nuclear power plant on Three Mile Island.

“I knew something happened because I went out to get the newspaper and I could smell it,” said Mohr, a lifelong resident of Conoy Township — only yards south of the Dauphin County island.

“The smell was a combination of rotting eggs, diesel fuel and a smoldering fire pit,” he said.

The plant’s Unit 2 reactor had partially melted down about 4 a.m. March 28, 1979, and as Mohr remembers it, locals panicked, fearing for their safety. Some fled, others hid inside.

“I can remember this like it was yesterday,” said Mohr, who has been a longtime township supervisor. “There was definitely an air of uncertainty. People were confused.”

Four decades later, confusion and concern have returned near the now-inactive power plant as officials at Utah-based EnergySolutions plan to dismantle the historic reactor.

It’s a plan that has state environmental officials and local nuclear watchdogs ringing proverbial alarm bells, pointing to concerns that money set aside for the decommissioning could run out before the work is finished.

That’s in addition to fears about the potential for indefinite radioactive contamination on the island, which sits just upstream from Lancaster County on the Susquehanna River.

Old concerns resurface

To Arthur Morris, Lancaster city’s mayor from 1980 to 1990, some of those worries are familiar. They existed in the years after the 1979 accident, when Morris sat on a state advisory board that focused on radioactive decontamination of Unit 2.

Back then — and now — the Susquehanna River served as the primary source for several downstream Lancaster County drinking water systems, including in Lancaster city.

As mayor, Morris said one of his priorities on the panel was to make sure radiation wasn’t carried downstream and piped through Lancaster residents’ faucets — a priority that led to regular testing near the plant that persists today.

Last week, Morris said he isn’t surprised that some of those old concerns have resurfaced with Unit 2 coming back under scrutiny.

“Those things don’t go away until the island is cleaned up,” Morris said.

‘Worst-case scenario’

However, it’s a cleanup plan that has nuclear watchdog Eric Epstein speaking out on signs of pending danger.

“It’s the worst-case scenario,” said Epstein, a leader of the Harrisburg-based group Three Mile Island Alert.

Last fall, Unit 2’s owners at Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. announced that they planned to transfer all related licenses and assets to TMI-2 Solutions LLC, an EnergySolutions subsidiary.

The transfer would mean that EnergySolutions also would take over the responsibility of eventually dismantling the Unit 2 reactor.

And that eventuality had already been planned for by the time the proposed transfer was announced in October. Then, EnergySolutions revealed plans to contract decommissioning work out to New Jersey-based construction company Jingoli, which has had past success with nuclear projects in the United States and Canada.

Despite a track record, state Department of Environmental Protection officials warned that planning for and beginning decommissioning work too early could put the island and surrounding areas at risk.

After all, DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell noted, Unit 2 is the site of the worst commercial nuclear accident in United States history — an accident that released radioactive gases and grossly contaminated the reactor and its surrounding buildings.

“Because of this, we understand there are very high radiation areas within TMI Unit 2 that present a grave risk to personnel that enter,” a letter signed by McDonnell reads.

That high radiation has prevented all but minor exploration of the Unit 2 area, meaning the radiological conditions inside large portions of the plant remain a mystery, according to the letter.

“I firmly believe TMI Unit 2 is the most radiologically contaminated facility in our nation outside of the Department of Energy’s weapons complex,” it reads.

Postponing the cleanup for “several decades” could allow for a decrease in radioactive potency, possibly lessening the chance of further environmental contamination, McDonnell wrote.

All of that is in addition to raising questions about how radioactive waste will be disposed, transported and stored. That includes concerns about whether any of that waste will be stored on the island — a site that Epstein believes could remain indefinitely radioactive.

Both McDonnell’s writings and Epstein’s concerns were submitted this spring to officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which must approve the FirstEnergy-to-EnergySolutions transfer request.

Commission officials have been reviewing the request since November, and similar reviews have been completed in a year or less, according to spokeswoman Diane Screnci.

Financial concerns

But it’s not only environmental issues that will be weighed as part of that review, with Epstein and state officials also raising serious financial concerns.

Specifically, they’ve drawn attention to a largely ratepayer-funded $901 million trust set aside to cover the cost of decommissioning, which has been estimated at upward of $1.2 billion.

Further complicating the issue, according to McDonnell’s letter, is the fact that trust fund dollars are tied to the stock market, which has seen large fluctuations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given the obvious uncertainties and complexities associated with cleaning up the remains … the demonstration of adequate funding to complete the decommissioning of TMI-2 and restoration of the site, is a significant concern of the department and the citizens of Pennsylvania,” McDonnell wrote.

Beyond sharing McDonnell’s letters, DEP officials said they could not further discuss the proposed decommissioning, citing litigation. Nondisclosure agreements stipulated by EnergySolutions also prevent DEP and Epstein from sharing some details.

EnergySolutions spokespeople did not respond to multiple requests for comment, though they indicated they are aware of concerns about their work.

Jennifer Young, a FirstEnergy spokeswoman, said company officials have faith the job will be completed on budget despite the existing disparity between the trust fund and estimated cost.

Cost estimates show there are sufficient funds given the project schedule for decommissioning,” she said. “Keep in mind that those funds will continue to accumulate value throughout the decommissioning process, which takes place over many years. Not all the money will be required or spent at one time.”

Epstein said it’s important to point out that the Unit 2 trust is full of ratepayer money, which will be under the full control of EnergySolutions’s TMI-2 Solutions LLC, a private company, with little public scrutiny.

Right company for the job

Despite those concerns, Young said FirstEnergy officials believe EnergySolutions is the right company to dismantle Unit 2. In fact, EnergySolutions decommissioning proposal was selected over offers from two other companies, she said. The unsolicited EnergySolutions proposal was made in 2018, Young said.

By Nuclear Regulatory Commission decree, the plant must be decommissioned within 60 years of halting operation, and Three Mile Island’s functioning Unit 1 was taken offline by its owner, Exelon, in 2019.

“We were faced with a decision to decommission the unit now or wait to start in the 2030s,” Young said.

“Waiting would not guarantee there would be companies available to start the dismantlement in time to comply with the 60-year requirement due to the large number of nuclear plant licenses that will expire in the 2030s,” he said.

Still, Epstein said he’d like a Nuclear Regulatory Commission decision on the transfer to remain delayed until his and DEP’s concerns can be worked through.

Like a big gravestone

Back in Conoy Township, Mohr said his full faith is in the commission to make the right decision — an opinion steeped in the immediate aftermath of the 1979 partial meltdown.

It was a commission official, Harold Denton, who shared the first details with locals, offering assurances that everything would be alright, he said.

“When he was done speaking, it was like the world calmed down,” Mohr said of the commission official. “He put it into a perspective that even we understood.”

For decades since, the plant has meant local jobs and local money, but since the 2019 shutdown, much of that has fallen by the wayside, he said. And it’s mostly for that reason that Mohr said he’s indifferent to the island’s fate.

“It’s almost to the point now that it was never there. If we drive north, we see it,” he said. “It reminds me of the biggest gravestone that I ever saw.”

July 13, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, safety, USA | Leave a comment

France’s oldest nuclear power plant at Fessenheim finally shut down

Fessenheim closes down, NEI Magazine,  1 July 2020  France’s oldest nuclear power plant at Fessenheim was finally shut down on 29 June with the closure of the 880MWe pressurised water reactor at unit 2. Fessenheim 1 was shut down in February.

The two reactors at Fessenheim began operation in 1977 and 1978 and were already three years beyond their projected 40-year life span.

Although there is no legal limit on the operating life of French nuclear power plants, EDF had envisaged a 40-year lifetime for all second-generation PWRs.

Fessenheim had become a focus for anti-nuclear campaigners after the 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan, prompting then President Francois Hollande to promise its closure. However, it was not until 2018 that his successor Emmanuel Macron finalised the decision.,,,….. https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsfessenheim-closes-down-8004216

July 2, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, France | Leave a comment

Activists, despite government oppression, campaign for decommissioning of Russia’s aging nuclear reactors

Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals [Full Report 2020]    Report “Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals” Produced by RSEU’s program “Against nuclear and radioaсtive threats”
Published: Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2020

“………..For many years, Murmansk regional environmental groups have opposed the ageing Kola NPP reactor’s lifetime extension. They have participated in public hearings, have organised many demonstrations (8-9-10), appealed to and received support from the prosecutor’s office(11), but this was all ignored by Rosatom. Activists also called on the governor to shut down the old NPP, but environmental organisations were shutdown instead. One such organisation is Kola Environmental Center (KEC) – listed as a Foreign Agent in 2017– and was subject to two trials and fined 150,000 rubles (12). KEC was forced to close down as a legal entity in2018, but has continued its environmental work as a public movement(13). Another organisation in the region –Nature and Youth – made the decision to close down in order to avoid prosecution, but continues its work as an unregistered initiative

Decommissioning problems
Most of the Russian nuclear power plants, despite their lifetime extensions, are approaching inevitable closure. Over the next 15 years, the NPP decommissioning process will take place. Currently, 36 power units are in operation at 11 NPPs in Russia, and 7 units have been shut down. While the fuel was removed from 5 of these units, the NPPs have not yet been decommissioned(14). This process will lead to enormous amounts of nuclear waste. Moreover, sufficient funds for the decommissioning process have not yet been earmarked. (15)
• In 2018, after 45 years of operation, the first power unit of the Leningrad NPP was finally shut down.The second one scheduled for shutdown is in 2020, the third in 2025 and the fourth in 2026. However,decommissioning projects have not yet been clearly developed for the reactors.
Rosenergoatom, Rosatom’s subsidiary, will develop them in the years following the shutdowns. (16)
• The public organisation, Green World, has worked for many years in Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region, a city dominated by the nuclear industry and closed to outsiders. Since 1988, activists of the organisation have opposed dangerous nuclear projects in the Baltic Sea region(17) and have provided the public with independent information on the environmental situation. (18)
Green World has consistently called for the decommissioning of Leningrad NPP and took an early lead in collecting and preparing information on how decommissioning should take place, studying the experience of other countries. (19)
They have paid particular attention to information transparency and to wide participation indecision–making, including, for example, former employees of the nuclear industry. (20)
Rather than be met with cooperation, the organisation and its activists have, since the beginning, experienced pressure from the authorities and the dirty nuclear industry. Activists faced dismissal, lawsuits and even attempts on their lives.In 2015,
Green World was listed as a Foreign Agent and forced to close. (21)
In its place, another organisation was opened – the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland. Activists have continued their work as before under this new name…….”

June 6, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Reference, Russia | Leave a comment

Latina plant, the last of Italy’s 4 nuclear power stations to be dismantled

Italy approves dismantling of Latina plant   https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Dismantling-of-Italys-Latina-plant-to-begin 02 June 2020

Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development recently issued a decree authorising Societa Gestione Impianti Nucleari SpA (Sogin) to begin the initial phase of decommissioning the Latina nuclear power plant. The Latina plant is the last of the four Italian nuclear power plants to obtain a decommissioning decree.
After considering the opinion of the National Inspectorate for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (ISIN) and the other competent institutions, the Ministry of Economic Development issued the decree on 20 May. ISIN is the independent regulatory authority responsible for nuclear safety and radiation protection. The decree establishes the conditions and requirements that regulate the execution of operations in the first phase of decommissioning.

The main activities envisaged during this initial phase of decommissioning concern the dismantling of the six boilers, with a total weight of over 3600 tonnes, and the lowering of the reactor building height from 53 to 38 metres. Buildings and auxiliary systems will also be dismantled. These operations are in addition to those already carried out or in progress at the plant.

By the end of this phase, all previous radioactive wastes generated through the operation of the plant or those produced by the dismantling of structures, systems and plant components will be stored safely at the site. These wastes will be stored both in a new temporary storage facility and in some specifically adapted reactor building premises. This initial phase of decommissioning the Latina plant is expected to be completed in 2027 and to cost EUR270 million (USD302 million).

With the availability of a planned national repository, it will be possible to start the second and final phase of the decommissioning of the plant with the dismantling of the graphite gas reactor. Once all the radioactive waste has been transferred to the repository and the temporary storage facilities demolished, the site will be released, without radiological restrictions, and returned to the community for its reuse.

“We are pleased with the issuance of this decree, the fifth after those obtained for the Bosco Marengo [fuel fabrication] plant and the Trino, Garigliano and Caorso [nuclear power] plants,” said Sogin CEO Emanuele Fontani. “This is a crucial step for the closure of the Italian nuclear cycle, which allows us to get to the heart of the decommissioning of the Latina plant. This measure confirms the fruitful collaboration between the various institutional subjects involved in the dismantling of nuclear plants.”

The Latina plant, comprising a single 210 MWe Magnox graphite gas-cooled reactor, began operating in January 1964. It was permanently shut in December 1987 as a result of the Italian referendum on nuclear power that followed the April 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Sogin took over ownership of the site in November 1999.

June 4, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Dismantling of Norway’s nuclear research reactors – up to 25 years, about $billion

Norwegian reactor dismantling to cost almost USD2 billion, WNN , 18 May 2020   The decommissioning of Norway’s shut down research reactors at Halden and Kjeller will cost around NOK20 billion (USD1.96 billion) and take 20-25 years, according to a report commissioned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The report by Atkins and Oslo Economics mainly confirms assessments from the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) and risk management and quality assurance consultants DNV GL that were made in 2019. It estimates that demolition of facilities and restoration of the areas will cost around NOK7 billion. There will also be costs of around NOK13 billion for the treatment of used fuel and the storage of radioactive waste. However, it notes there is “considerable uncertainty” around these costs…….

“There have been limited reactor operations in Norway, but we have complicated facilities and waste that will cost a lot,” said Minister of Industry Iselin Nybø. “The report shows how costly and lengthy that dismantling can be. The proposed measures will help to make the cleanup as efficient as possible.

“We will clean up to protect ourselves from harmful consequences for people and the environment from the radiation from this past industry,” Nybø added. “The investigation is part of the puzzle that is now being put in place to ensure a safe and effective cleanup. It will be considered thoroughly and planned to be addressed by the government in the autumn of 2020.”

Norway’s two research reactors – the nuclear fuel and materials testing reactor at Halden and the JEEP-II neutron scattering facility at Kjeller – were declared permanently shut down in June 2018 and April 2019, respectively. Their ownership and responsibility for them will move to Norwegian Nuclear Decommissioning (NND) from IFE……https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Dismantling-of-Norwegian-reactors-to-cost-almost-U

May 19, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Removal of Fort Belvoir’s SM-1 nuclear reactor to proceed after Army finalizes environmental assessment

 May 18, 2020 Fort Hunt Herald  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) remains on track to award a contract for the decommissioning and dismantlement of the deactivated SM-1 nuclear power plant at Fort Belvoir by September 2020.

That is according to USACE Project Manager Brenda Barber, who provided an update by email to SM-1 stakeholders on May 18, 2020.

Following a public comment period, Barber announced that the SM-1 project’s Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) have been finalized and published online:……..

“The team is now focused on completing the Decommissioning Planning in preparation for awarding a decommissioning contract,” Barber stated.

“The project team still anticipates awarding a decommissioning contract by September 2020 with mobilization work on site beginning in early 2021.”……….

Barber noted that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has not had any immediate significant impact on the project schedule, since most of the work at this administrative phase is being done virtually. The site remains secure and environmental and radiological monitoring and inspections continue.

For information about the project, visit: nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/SM-1

Questions and comments can continue to be sent to the project’s corporate communications team by emailing Brenda.M.Barber@usace.army.mil or calling (410) 375-4565    https://forthuntherald.com/removal-of-fort-belvoirs-sm-1-nuclear-reactor-to-proceed-after-finalizing-environmental-assessment/

May 19, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Indian Point nuclear power station – Unit 2 permanently closed

May 5, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactor pressure vessel to be shipped by rail to Utah, from Sanonofre

After decades, the heart of a nuclear reactor will finally leave San Onofre    https://www.ocregister.com/2020/04/30/after-decades-the-heart-of-a-nuclear-reactor-will-finally-leave-san-onofre/  

The reactor pressure vessel for Unit 1, the first of three reactors on site, will get a permanent home in Utah, By TERI SFORZA | tsforza@scng.com | Orange County Register, May 1, 2020   The original plan, nearly 20 years ago, was to plop the retired nuclear reactor pressure vessel on a barge and ship it off — via the Panama Canal or all the way around the tip of South America — to a final resting place in South Carolina.But there were strong objections to transporting the huge metal shell that way. After all, atoms had actually been split inside it. And so the giant, but empty, heart of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s Unit 1 was packed away in a huge steel cylinder in 2002. The cylinder was filled with grout for shielding against radiation. It was sealed, and has been stored at the plant ever since.

Now — as serious tear-down work gets under way on Units 2 and 3 — the heart of long-ago-dismantled Unit 1 is finally slated to leave San Onofre forever.

Operator Southern California Edison is preparing to ship Unit 1’s reactor pressure vessel to a licensed disposal facility in Clive, Utah, which is owned by Energy Solutions, one of San Onofre’s decommissioning contractors. It will have company: San Onofre’s retired steam generators were shipped to Clive in 2012.

Though officials can’t get too specific on precisely when or how the vessel will go — for safety reasons — they’ve been preparing a rail spur to haul heavy components off site.

The reactor vessel is considered low-level waste, the least hazardous of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s radioactive waste classifications. Contaminated cleaning supplies, used disposable protective clothing and reactor parts are other examples of low-level waste.

How can the crucible for nuclear reactions be low-level waste? The most radioactive parts within it were removed, cut up, and stored with higher-level waste on site, said John Dobken, a spokesman for Edison. What’s left is Cobalt-60, which has a half-life of about five years.

Unit 1 was retired in 1992, and the reactor vessel has been packaged for 18 years, so it has gone through about five half-lives, reducing its radioactivity, Dobken said.The contact dose rate for the vessel package is less than 0.1 millirem an hour, which is 500 times below the Department of Transportation limit for these types of shipments, Edison said in a primer on the move. For comparison, a chest X-ray provides a dose of 10 millirem.

Since this is low-level waste, it was never part of Edison’s contract with the federal government requiring the U.S. Department of Energy to haul away high-level waste by 1998 in exchange for payments into the Nuclear Waste Fund.

The federal government’s paralysis on finding a permanent home for the nation’s high-level nuclear waste is why 40 years’ worth of it remains stuck on site, generating sharp controversy.

While critics have called on Edison to cease decommissioning work at San Onofre during the lock-down, it proceeds with “pandemic protocols” in place, Dobken said. Everyone on site must wear a mask and practice social distancing.

———————————–

By the numbers: The package weighs 770 tons, or more than 1.5 million pounds. Inside is the Unit 1 reactor pressure vessel, pieces of radioactive metal and grout for radiation shielding. It’s a 2-inch-thick carbon steel cylindrical canister with a 3-inch-thick carbon steel liner; top and bottom plates are 3 inches thick. The canister is 38.5 feet long and 15.5 feet in diameter.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Indian Point nuclear power station’s first step to closure, as one reactor shuts down

Nuclear power plant north of New York City to start shutdown, Daily Journal ,By MARY ESCH Associated Press, Apr 29, 2020 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — With the push of a red button, one of the two operating nuclear reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center along the Hudson River north of New York City will shut down Thursday night as federal regulators consider the plant owner’s proposal to sell it to a company that plans to demolish it by the end of 2033 at a projected cost of $2.3 billion.

The 1,020-megawatt Unit 2 reactor will close for good Thursday and 1,040-megawatt Unit 3 will close in April 2021 as part of a deal reached in January 2017 between Entergy Corp., the state of New York and the environmental group Riverkeeper. The Unit 1 reactor shut down in 1974, 12 years after the plant began operation in the Westchester County town of Buchanan……

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo had long sought the shutdown, saying the plant 24 miles north of Manhattan posed too great a risk to millions of people who live and work nearby. Riverkeeper noted Hudson River fish kills, soil and water contamination, recurrent emergency shutdowns and vulnerability to terrorist attacks. Entergy cited low natural gas prices and increased operating costs as key factors in its decision to close Indian Point and exit the merchant power business.

A year ago, Entergy announced a deal to sell the 240-acre facility to the New Jersey-based decommissioning firm Holtec International, which has submitted a dismantling plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. At a public information session held online last week, NRC representatives said the commission is reviewing Holtec’s financial and technical qualifications, as well as public comments, before approving the license transfer.

According to the NRC, Indian Point will join 13 other nuclear power plants across the United States that have begun the decades-long process of decommissioning, which dismantles a facility to the point that it no longer presents a radioactive danger.

Under the decommissioning process, spent fuel rod assemblies are initially placed in large pools of water where the hot fuel is cooled for at least two years. Then the spent fuel is transferred into giant steel and concrete cylinders that stay at the site unless or until a national nuclear waste storage facility is created……..

A 2017 analysis by the New York Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s electrical grid, concluded that Indian Point’s closure won’t impair the grid’s ability to keep New York City’s lights on.  ……https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/state/nuclear-power-plant-north-of-new-york-city-to-start-shutdown/article_62453a0b-19d7-5baf-9dfc-a7db2d15710f.html

April 30, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Microbes in nuclear fuel ponds slow down the decommissioning process

April 11, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

The clean-up of the Fukushima nuclear mess is not going to schedule – continual decommissioning delays

March 17, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Fukushima continuing, Reference | 1 Comment

Kazakhstan local residents may be stuck with costs of decommissioning nuclear reactor

March 2, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Kazakhstan | Leave a comment