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.

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.

Minnesota PUC clears Monticello for more spent fuel storage

August 31, 2023, 9:31AMRadwaste Solutions
Monticello nuclear power plant. (Photo: Xcel Energy)

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved Xcel Energy’s request for a certificate of need to expand spent fuel storage at the utility’s Monticello nuclear power plant.

The additional storage, according to the PUC, requires installation of a second concrete support pad and modular concrete storage system designed to hold 14 additional steel canisters.

Xcel had requested increased outdoor storage to accommodate its plan to extend Monticello’s operational life by 10 years, to 2040.

ANS responds to DOE’s funding award for consent-based siting

June 16, 2023, 12:00PMRadwaste Solutions
(Image: DOE)

American Nuclear Society Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Craig Piercy responded to the Department of Energy’s awarding the Society about $2 million to lead a team of universities in developing a replicable model for community engagement on nuclear storage, saying the work will help the DOE determine what consensus decision-making looks like in the siting process for facilities storing commercial spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

U.S., Canada to cooperate on spent fuel management

May 18, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
The NWMO’s Laurie Swami (left) and the DOE’s Kathryn Huff sign a statement of intent to cooperate on used nuclear fuel management in Washington, D.C., on May 16. (Photo: CNW Group/NWMO)

The United States and Canada will cooperate on spent nuclear fuel management under a statement of intent (SOI) signed between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, the nonprofit responsible for the management of Canada’s commercial spent fuel.

Holtec receives license for consolidated spent fuel storage site in New Mexico

May 11, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
A rendering of Holtec’s proposed HI-STORE CISF in New Mexico. (Image: Holtec)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a license to Holtec International to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel in southeastern New Mexico. Holtec is proposing building the facility, called the HI-STORE CISF, between the cities of Carlsbad and Hobbs in Lea County on land provided by the Eddy Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA).

DOE issues revised consent-based siting document

April 27, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy released an updated version of its consent-based siting process on April 25. The DOE will use the process to engage with willing communities to site one or more consolidated interim storage facilities for commercial spent nuclear fuel, reducing the number of locations where spent fuel is stored and easing the burden on U.S. taxpayers.

Climate group argues for recycling used fuel in fast reactors

April 10, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions
Report author Mark Lynas and RePlanet’s Joel Scott-Halkes stand next to a canister of spent nuclear fuel at the Sizewell plant in the United Kingdom. (Photo: RePlanet)

A new report from the environmental advocacy group RePlanet makes the case for recycling used nuclear fuel for use in advanced power reactors. According to the report, What a Waste: How fast-fission power can provide clean energy from nuclear waste, by using current inventories of used fuel and depleted uranium stocks in Europe and the United Kingdom, fast breeder reactors could generate between 600 and 1,000 years of carbon-free electricity for the entire European Union.

First used fuel moved to dry storage at Slovenia’s Krško plant

April 6, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The dry fuel storage building at the Krško nuclear power plant in Slovenia. (Photo: Holtec)

The first cask of used nuclear fuel was moved to dry storage at the Krško nuclear power plant in Slovenia on April 2, officially marking the storage facility’s commissioning, announced Holtec International, which is conducting the fuel transfer campaign.

According to Holtec, the current fuel loading campaign will consist of a total of 16 of the company’s HI-STORM FW casks being placed in dry storage.

The facility: Plant operator Nuklearna elektrarna Krško (NEK) received the operating license for the dry storage facility, the plant’s first, from the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration last October. The Krško facility was built under the management of Holtec’s Civil Design and Construction Department with the assistance of local supply chains, primarily consisting of Slovenian, Croatian, and Italian companies.

Idaho site achieves spent fuel milestone

March 30, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions
William “Ike” White addresses the audience at INTEC, which gathered to celebrate the completion of the spent fuel wet-to-dry project at the INL site. (Photo: DOE)

At Idaho National Laboratory, Department of Energy leaders joined tribal, state, and local officials; contractors; and workers on March 28 to mark a recent milestone with the state of Idaho nearly 25 years in the making. The milestone was the completion of a spent fuel wet-to-dry project more than nine months ahead of a 1995 Idaho Settlement Agreement deadline.

Shipping Vermont Yankee’s LLW: Lessons for transporting used fuel

March 23, 2023, 9:30AMRadwaste SolutionsJay Thomas, Mike Valenzano, and Nicolas Guibert
A loaded MP197HB cask is prepared for departure from the Vermont Yankee decommissioning site to West Texas. (Photos: Orano TN)

The rapid changes in the nuclear energy industry over the last decade, driven in part by fluctuating energy market prices and an aging fleet of reactors, have led to the closure of multiple reactors in the United States and other countries. These closures have increased the need for larger and more efficient ways to manage low-level radioactive waste processing and transport capacities. The safe transport of radioactive material is a key component of the overall nuclear industry reliability. Though sometimes perceived as a bottleneck and costly, it is necessary to send waste material to disposal.

Court throws out New Mexico’s challenge to ISP’s SNF storage facility

February 13, 2023, 3:20PMRadwaste Solutions

Citing a lack of jurisdiction, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has dismissed a petition by the state of New Mexico challenging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s licensing of Interim Storage Partners’ (ISP) consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) in Andrews County, Texas.

Court dismisses challenges to Texas SNF storage facility

January 31, 2023, 7:01AMRadwaste Solutions
A rendering of ISP’s proposed interim storage facility in West Texas. (Image: ISP)

A federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit brought by environmental groups challenging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s licensing of a consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel in Andrews County, Texas. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that the NRC reasonably applied its hearing regulations when approving Interim Storage Partners’ (ISP) license for the facility.

Oklo submits licensing plan for fuel recycling facility

January 25, 2023, 3:00PMRadwaste Solutions

Oklo said it has submitted a licensing project plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, outlining the company’s plans for preapplication engagement activities that support the future licensing of a used nuclear fuel recycling facility. The first-of-a-kind facility is intended to produce fuel to support the deployment of Oklo’s advanced fission power plants.

DOE increases consent-based siting FOA to $26 million

January 23, 2023, 7:01AMRadwaste Solutions

The Department of Energy has increased the funding level for its community engagement on consent-based siting funding opportunity announcement (FOA) from $16 million to $26 million. The DOE first announced it was making funding available to communities interested in learning more about consent-based siting, management of spent nuclear fuel, and interim storage facility siting considerations last September. The FOA follows the DOE’s recent update to its consent-based process for siting an interim storage facility for SNF.