NRC to discuss decommissioning of historic NS Savannah

April 16, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
The NS Savannah. (Photo: NS Savannah Association)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public meeting on May 8 to discuss the license termination process for the retired nuclear-powered merchant ship, the NS Savannah. During the meeting, NRC staff will discuss the license termination process and receive public comments on the remaining cleanup activities described in the license termination plan for the historic ship, which may see a second life as a floating museum.

Notes from Poland

March 25, 2024, 9:32AMNuclear NewsWojciech Jerzy Głuszewski
Aerial photo of Warsaw city center in Poland.

The development of nuclear power is one of the pillars of Poland’s energy transition, which involves construction of safe and modern Generation III+ pressurized water reactors.

Polskie Elektrownie Ja˛drowe (PEJ) is the company responsible for, among other things, preparing the investment process for the construction of the first Polish nuclear power plant with a capacity of up to 3,750 MWe. PEJ’s goal is to build six nuclear reactors (for a total capacity of 6–9 GWe), securing 25 percent of the electricity needed in Poland by 2043 and guaranteeing a stable supply of clean energy to millions of homes across the country.

Final decommissioning rule expected by fall, NRC says

February 21, 2024, 12:04PMRadwaste Solutions

The staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent a final rule for decommissioning reactors to the commissioners for consideration. If approved, the new rulemaking would incorporate lessons learned from nuclear power plants that have recently transitioned to decontamination and decommissioning and would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the regulatory framework.

Report examines nuclear’s 2023 developments, 2024 trends

February 6, 2024, 7:01AMANS Nuclear Cafe

A new report, A New Nuclear Age: How 2023 Developments Will Impact the Industry in 2024, has been released by Morgan Lewis, a global corporation that provides litigation, corporate, labor and employment, and intellectual property services. Morgan Lewis’s energy specialist attorneys, who compiled the report, reviewed recent developments in rules and guidance from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy that have impacted various aspects of the nuclear energy industry. Covered areas include cybersecurity, small modular reactors, advanced reactors, sustainability, export controls, plant decommissioning, microreactors, and fusion systems. Also considered in the report are potential future developments that may further affect the nuclear industry this year.

State: Holtec must study nonradioactive pollution in Pilgrim’s evaporation

February 2, 2024, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The Pilgrim nuclear power plant. (Photo: Holtec)

The state of Massachusetts is looking to require Holtec, the owners of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant, to analyze water evaporation at the plant for potential air pollution as the unit is decommissioned.

At a hearing this week with a state Department of Environmental Protection panel, officials said that more study is needed on nonradioactive contaminants in about 1 million gallons of water that Holtec has proposed discharging into Cape Cod Bay.

Japan-U.S. decommissioning workshop coming up

January 19, 2024, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Japan-U.S. Decommissioning Workshop Series continues on February 8–9 when its second forum meets to discuss the handling of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) generated during the decommissioning process and how improved LLW management can reduce risk.

Registration for the online event is required. The registration deadline is 2:00 a.m. (EST) on February 5.

2023 in Review: October–December

January 16, 2024, 3:01PMNuclear News

Another calendar year has passed. Before heading too far into 2024, let’s look back at what happened in 2023 in the nuclear community. In today's post, compiled from Nuclear News and Nuclear Newswire are what we feel are the top nuclear news stories from October through December 2023.

Stay tuned for the top stories from the rest of the past year.

NRC approves changes to Palisades’ emergency planning requirements

December 12, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
The Palisades nuclear power plant. (Photo: Entergy)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted Holtec Decommissioning International’s request to revise the emergency preparedness plan for the Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert, Mich., to reflect the plant’s decommissioning status.

Orano completes removal of Crystal River-3 RPV

December 11, 2023, 6:58AMRadwaste Solutions

The first piece of Crystal River-3’s reactor pressure vessel is lifted from the reactor cavity. (Photo: Orano)

The cutting and conditioning of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) and internals belonging to the pressurized water reactor at the Crystal River-3 nuclear power plant in Florida has been completed, the Orano Group has announced. Finished in under two years, removal of the RPV marks the conclusion of the plant’s dismantling and spent fuel management project, which began in 2021.

Crystal River-3 is being decommissioned by Advanced Decommissioning Partners (ADP), a joint venture of Orano and NorthStar Group Services. Duke Energy transferred the licenses for Crystal River-3 to ADP in October 2020 for accelerated decommissioning.

Optimized process: Orano’s Dismantling and Services teams carried out the cutting and conditioning of the reactor vessel and primary circuit components using a patented segmentation process called “optimized segmentation,” according to the company.

NRC to hold hybrid meeting on Crystal River-3 license termination

November 29, 2023, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions
The Crystal River-3 nuclear power plant.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it will hold a hybrid public meeting on December 7 to discuss the license termination process and to accept comments on the remaining cleanup activities under the license termination plan for the Crystal River-3 nuclear power plant in Crystal River, Fla.

NRC releases decommissioned Zion site for unrestricted use

November 9, 2023, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions
The Zion nuclear plant site as it appeared earlier this year. (Photo: Tim Gregoire)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released for “unrestricted use” most of the land on and around where the Zion nuclear power plant once operated in northeastern Illinois. This means that any residual radiation is below the NRC’s limits and there will be no further regulatory controls by the agency for that portion of the property.

NRC approves emergency planning exemptions for defueled Indian Point

October 30, 2023, 9:52AMRadwaste Solutions
Indian Point nuclear power plant. (Photo: Daniel Case)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission hasgranted a request by Holtec Decommissioning International (HDI) to revise the emergency preparedness plan for the Indian Point Energy Center. Reflecting the reduced risk of a radiological emergency at a decommissioning power reactor site, the exemption removes the requirement that HDI maintain a 10-mile emergency planning zone around the plant.

Sharing D&D Knowledge in a Competitive Market

October 27, 2023, 3:13PMRadwaste SolutionsTim Gregoire
Vermont Yankee’s segmented reactor vessel head is lowered into a custom-built package for transportation and disposal. (Photo: Orano)

Currently, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is overseeing 17 nuclear power plants that are undergoing active decommissioning. For 10 of those plants, the NRC licenses have been transferred, either through sale or temporary transfer, from the plant owner and operator to a third party, nonutility company for decommissioning. To be profitable, those companies are decommissioning the nuclear plants as expediently as they safely can, while still protecting workers and the environment, using proprietary techniques and processes.

Progress touted in D&D of Idaho’s naval nuclear prototypes

October 25, 2023, 12:04PMRadwaste Solutions
Crews demolish one of two massive steam condensers at the Naval Reactors Facility’s A1W prototype reactor facility in Idaho. Click photo to enlarge (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management said that crews at the Idaho National Laboratory site are making “significant progress” decommissioning the Submarine 1st Generation Westinghouse (S1W) reactor, the prototype pressurized water reactor that supported the development of the USS Nautilus, the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine.

DOE to discuss SNF transport plans during SONGS D&D meeting

October 24, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The San Onofre nuclear power plant. (Photo: SONGS)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy will provide an update to the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel (CEP) on spent fuel transportation preparations on Thursday, October 26, at its quarterly meeting. The virtual meeting will begin at 2:00 p.m. (PDT) via Microsoft Teams video conference.

Members of the public can view the meeting online by visiting the SONGS community website for the link to the Microsoft Teams meeting and to register to comment.

USACE taps Aptim JV to decommission Alaska’s SM-1A reactor

October 18, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The SM-1A reactor facility at Fort Greely, Alaska. (Photo: USACE)

Baton Rouge, La.-based Aptim Federal Services announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, has awarded the company a six-year, $95.5 million contract to decommission, dismantle, and dispose of the SM-1A nuclear power reactor at Fort Greely, Alaska.

Crews demolish second legacy Oak Ridge reactor lab

October 2, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The Low Intensity Test Reactor structure is lifted from its housing and placed in a specialized carbon metal container for shipment for disposal. (Photo: DOE)

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management announced it has completed a second of its 2023 priorities at Oak Ridge in as many months with the demolition of the Low Intensity Test Reactor, known as Building 3005, at the Tennessee site.

Watch a video of Building 3005 and its decommissioning here.

The Ubiquity of PFAS: An Emerging Issue in Decommissioning

September 22, 2023, 3:08PMRadwaste SolutionsJay Peters, Nadia Glucksberg, and John Xiong

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), an anthropogenic class of several thousand chemicals made for use in products such as nonstick cookware, water-, grease-, and stain-resistant materials, surfactants, and fire suppression foams [1], are emerging as a complicating factor in nuclear decommissioning. These chemicals, which have been manufactured globally, including in the United States, have gained regulatory and public attention due to their persistence and ubiquity in the environment, ability to be detected at low parts-per-trillion levels, and health-based standards set at levels hundreds to thousands of times lower than more classic contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

DOE delegation visits Japan for info exchange

September 1, 2023, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions
DOE-EM senior advisor Ike White provided remarks to the audience during 7th International Forum on the Decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. (Photo: DOE)

Senior advisor Ike White and others with the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management traveled to Japan this week to attend the 7th International Forum on the Decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.