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NRC Approves Entergy Plan for Spent Fuel

The plan addresses how Entergy Point will deal with Indian Point 3 spent fuel pool, which is virtually full.

The following was provided by NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan.

The NRC has approved a license amendment involving spent nuclear fuel movements and storage at the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

Under the plan, Entergy will be able to load fuel in the Indian Point 3 spent fuel pool into a specially designed cask (capable of holding 12 spent fuel assemblies); move the loaded cask, outside the buildings, to the Indian Point 2 spent fuel pool; unload the cask; and subsequently load that fuel into a more typical dry storage cask (holding 32 assemblies) that will be transported to the plant’s Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI).

 Entergy requested the license amendment because the Indian Point 3 spent fuel pool is virtually full and, without the new approach, it would not be able to conduct a scheduled refueling outage early next year. The company did explore installing a larger crane in the Indian Point 3 spent fuel pool building to allow the movement of larger dry casks, but it ultimately determined that would not be feasible.

The proposal was first submitted to the NRC on July 8, 2009. Following that submittal, the agency began a detailed review that included numerous Requests for Additional Information (RAIs) sent to Entergy that demanded responses. The NRC also conducted public meetings regarding the license amendment request on June 15, 2009 (a pre-submittal meeting), June 11, 2010, and April 28, 2011. The NRC has now determined the plan can be safely carried out. However, we will have inspectors on hand during dry runs and spent fuel movements to ensure that all safety measures are being closely adhered to.

 Entergy intends to begin the spent fuel transfers next month.

 There were no requests for a hearing on the proposal.

Francis T McVetty July 17, 2012 at 02:31 PM
What happened to Yucca Mountain? Why have BILLIONS been spent on this storage facility and ONE man closed it. That's our friend Harry Reid. He took the money for his state and then when it was near completion, he said no. There has to be a place to safely store nuclear waste. We have it and are NOT using it.
Glenn Tepper July 18, 2012 at 02:43 AM
So the NRC has given Indian Point the go-ahead to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. It took the NRC three years to once again cave in to the nuclear power industry. WASF
Mike Rodriques August 08, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Francis; Here's a pretty good explanation on what happened. It seems that the bulk of the money didn't actually go to Nevada, rather it wen to the power providers in penalties during the early 90's. Take a look. http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=whatever-happened-to-plans-to-bury-2009-03-09
Francis T McVetty August 08, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Mike, thanks for the article. I especially like this quote from it [While this temporary solution should hold for several decades, finding a long-term plan for storing nuclear power’s dangerous leftovers falls to the energy secretary, who testified before a congressional panel during his confirmation hearing that finding a replacement for Yucca or somehow making it work will take up “a significant part of my time and energy.”] Isn't that what we are paying him for? Do any of these people that are appointed, actually do anything? The actual cost figure I thought was much higher. 80 billion comes to mind.
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