Holtec completes Indian Point dry storage campaign

October 24, 2023, 12:03PMRadwaste Solutions
The Indian Point fuel campaign crew at the plant ISFSI. (Photo: Holtec)

Holtec International marked a milestone last week in its decommissioning of Indian Point Energy Center with the transfer of all the plant’s spent nuclear fuel to dry storage. According to the company, the last fuel assembly from Indian Point-3 was placed into dry cask storage at 2:22 a.m. on October 14.

With the final fuel campaign completed, all of Indian Point’s 3,998 spent fuel assemblies are now loaded into 127 dry storage casks on the site’s independent spent fuel storage installation. During this final campaign, 41 casks were moved to the ISFSI.

Background: In an agreement with the state of New York, plant owner Entergy agreed to cease operations at Indian Point’s two operating units (Unit 1 was shut down in 1974) by April 2021. Holtec acquired the three-unit nuclear power plant, located in Buchanan, N.Y., from Entergy in May 2021 for decommissioning.

Claiming that Indian Point’s spent fuel pools posed a heightened risk to the state, New York opposed Holtec’s exemptions from the de-fueled plant’s emergency planning requirements until all the fuel had been transferred to dry storage, which had been granted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

According to Holtec’s 2019 decommissioning report to the NRC, the company is to complete decommissioning Indian Point, with partial site release, by 2033. The same report had the plant’s spent fuel moved to dry storage by mid-2024.

He said it: “The successful transfer of spent fuel to dry cask storage is a tremendous accomplishment by the skilled men and women working to decommission Indian Point,” said Tom Congdon, chair of the Indian Point Closure Task Force, which was created by the state to oversee the decommissioning of Indian Point.