Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on July 2 stated Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, the nation’s oldest working nuclear energy plant, will formally shut on September 17. They additionally stated radioactive materials is more likely to stay on the web site in New Jersey till at the least the late 2070s, and maybe past.

The NRC on Monday held a briefing to debate the shutdown and decommissioning plan for Oyster Creek, which opened in 1969. Officials stated Chicago-based Exelon, which owns the 650-MW single-reactor plant on the Jersey Shore about 60 miles east of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Orange County, will take the remaining nuclear gas rods from storage swimming pools and place them into dry storage possible by mid-year 2024, or inside about 5½ years after the plant closes.

NRC officers stated it’ll value about $1.four billion to shut the plant. They stated Exelon at current has $982.1 million in a decommissioning account. A public listening to to debate the decommissioning plan is about for July 17.

Neil Sheehan, an NRC spokesman, stated discovering a brand new residence for the spent nuclear gas from Oyster Creek isn’t presently an choice. “There isn’t any nationwide repository for spent gas at this level,” stated Sheehan on Monday. “The solely choice for operators is to retailer the spent nuclear gas on web site.”

Sheehan stated the NRC is contemplating proposals for nationwide nuclear waste depositories in Texas or New Mexico, however no resolution has been reached. Some members of Congress, together with the Trump administration, have renewed a push to revive a plan to retailer nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Congress in 1987 selected Yucca Mountain to develop into the nation’s everlasting repository for nuclear waste generated by energy crops and the army. The federal authorities has spent $15 billion researching the positioning; the Department of Energy (DOE) started pursuing a license for Yucca Mountain in 2008. The challenge was stopped in 2011 as a result of opposition from political leaders in Nevada and native residents. Yucca Mountain sits about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas in a distant a part of the Mojave Desert.

Ray Powell, a decommissioning official with the NRC, on Monday stated Exelon has moved nuclear gas rods into 34 dry-storage items, or casks, that are metal containers encased in concrete. The casks are designed to retailer nuclear materials whereas its radioactivity decreases over time. Power stated one other 40 casks shall be full of the remaining gas rods after Oyster Creek closes.

The NRC stated Oyster Creek shall be in a “protected retailer” situation till 2075. They stated dismantling of the plant ought to happen between 2075 and 2078. Exelon spokeswoman Suzanne D’Ambrosio, although, stated “the timeline could possibly be a lot shorter” as the corporate proceeds with the decommissioning.

“The used gas shall be saved on web site in sturdy steel canisters housed in a large concrete housing,” D’Ambrosio stated. “The storage facility is very secured, and the casks are impervious to climate and threat of assault. The canisters emit very low, if any, measurable ranges of radiation, and so they current no hazard to the general public.”

Oyster Creek started working Dec. 1, 1969. The Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station in Scriba, New York, additionally started working that day, however Oyster Creek’s license was issued first.

Exelon in 2010 reached an settlement with the state of New Jersey to shut Oyster Creek by December 2019, 10 years sooner than its working license required, after Exelon determined to not set up expensive cooling tower expertise required by New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection. Exelon in February stated it might transfer up the closure to the tip of the plant’s present working cycle in October, with the date now set for September 17. The plant in May filed discover of layoffs prematurely of the closure with New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce…

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