Spent Nuclear Fuel Transportation Review Could Signal Federal Repository Approval

Whilst the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is continue to thinking of two apps for different federal expended nuclear fuel repositories, its transportation readiness assessment is envisioned to be readily available to the general public no later than May perhaps.
That was just 1 of the takeaways from the two-day New Mexico Spent Gasoline Transportation Symposium, hosted almost by the Nuclear Power Institute final week. The New Mexico web site is proposed by Holtec Global, the mother or father firm of the shuttered Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township. Holtec Decommissioning Worldwide, a subsidiary of the Camden-primarily based strength engineering firm, is presently decommissioning the former nuclear plant and is anticipated to move the remaining used nuclear fuel into 33 dry cask storage units at the site’s Unbiased Spent Gasoline Storage Installation pad early this year.
“An entity accredited to function a nuclear plant is also licensed to transport put in gasoline,” reported David Pstrak, a member of the NRC’s Place of work of Nuclear Basic safety Supplies and Safeguards. “Transportation routes have to meet the restrictions of the (federal) Department of Transportation and be authorized by the NRC.”
Radioactive material and other dangerous squander have been transported with no incident across the nation for many years, he mentioned.
Regardless of the cargo, railway and other transportation businesses have programs in location must an incident happen throughout transport, according to Anthony Ippolito of the Canadian Nationwide Railroad. He offered transportation from a railway point of view through working day two of the symposium.
The NRC and federal DOT co-regulate the transportation of radioactive supplies, with the NRC dependable for establishing regulations surrounding bundle layout. Licensees are demanded to notify and coordinate with state, tribal and local legislation enforcement prior to cargo.
Holtec has petitioned the NRC to develop and function stage one of the interim repository on close to 1,040 acres of land in Lea County, N.M. The land is owned by Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance, a general public entire body made as a result of a joint-powers settlement in between Eddy and Lea counties as properly as the towns of Carlsbad and Hobbs, positioned in southeast New Mexico.
In its license software for the facility, Holtec is looking for authorization to retail store 5,000 metric tons of uranium (MTUs) in approximately 500 used nuclear fuel canisters under a 40-year license. Nonetheless, NRC personnel observed in the Oct. 9 consolidated response to hearing requests on the repository that particular person canisters change in potential. The 500 canisters proposed by Holtec have the likely to keep up to 8,680 MTUs from industrial nuclear reactors as properly as a modest quantity of invested mixed-oxide gasoline.
If the NRC challenges the requested license, Holtec expects to subsequently check with for extra amendments to the first license to develop the storage potential of the facility. Below its proposal, the organization would increase the facility in 19 subsequent phases, each individual for an more 500 canisters, to be done above the program of 20 yrs.
Separately, the NRC is reviewing an application from Interim Storage Partners, a joint venture amongst Squander Regulate Specialists and Orano CIS LLC, for a 14,900-acre web page in western Andrews County, Texas.
Ought to the NRC approve either software, or each, a nationwide repository for spent nuclear gas would fulfill the U.S. Office of Energy’s obligation to come across a extensive-term answer for storing the byproduct of nuclear energy. Yucca Mountain in Nevada was the response in 2002, but it was abandoned in 2010.
In the spring of 2020, the NRC affirmed a 2019 conclusion by the Atomic Security and Licensing Board rejecting promises that moving ahead with the licensing of an interim consolidated used nuclear gas repository in New Mexico is illegal below the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.
Opponents of Holtec’s program, such as Outside of Nuclear, a nonprofit corporation with customers nationwide, explained the application violates the Nuclear Waste Plan Act “because they contemplate federal ownership of put in gasoline throughout transportation to and/or storage” at the personal amenities, according to a March 2019 lawsuit the nonprofit submitted towards the federal government and the NRC.
Below the NWPA, the federal federal government simply cannot consider title to privately produced used nuclear gas until a closing repository is operational. Even so, in this ruling the NRC located the license, if accredited, would authorize Holtec to just take possession of the spent fuel at its internet site and would not violate the NWPA by transferring title to the gas. On top of that, the license would not sanction Holtec or the Division of Electrical power to enter into storage contracts.
— Gina G. Scala

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