United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Rancho Seco

1.0 Site Identification

Type of Site: Power Reactor Facility
Location: Herald,CA
License No.: DPR-54
Docket No.: 50-312
License Status: Decon
Project Manager: John Hickman

2.0 Site Status Summary

The plant was shutdown in June 1989. The SAFSTOR DP was approved in March 1995. On January 9, 1997, the SMUD Board of Directors approved an "incremental decommissioning" project for Rancho Seco. Incremental decommissioning began in early-1997. Incremental decommissioning involved performing some decommissioning activities earlier than 2008, as described in the originally approved Decommissioning Plan. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82, SMUD provided written notification to the NRC regarding SMUD's intent to begin incremental decommissioning.

On July 1, 1999, the SMUD Board of Directors voted to continue the decommissioning process at Rancho Seco until termination of the 10 CFR 50 license, by 2008. However, based upon the lack of suitable waste disposal options, the licensee intends to store Class B and C radioactive waste in an Interim Onsite Storage Building until a suitable disposal facility becomes available.

On October 4, 1991, the owner submitted a site-specific Part 72 ISFSI application using the VECTRA NUHOMS-MP187 dual purpose cask design. The license was granted on June 30, 2000. The owner has transferred all of the spent fuel from the pool to the onsite ISFSI. On August 21, 2002, Rancho Seco completed placing all 493 spent fuel assemblies in dry storage at the onsite Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI), licensed under 10 CFR Part 72.

The licensee has completed dismantlement of the secondary side equipment in the turbine building. Wastes generated during decommissioning are being shipped to Envirocare. The licensee is now dismantling equipment in the auxiliary and reactor buildings.

Rancho Seco initially went critical on September 16, 1974, and began commercial operation on April 18, 1975. In accordance with the results of a public referendum on June 6, 1989, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) decided to permanently shut down the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Accordingly, on August 29, 1989, SMUD notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of its intent to seek amendments to the Rancho Seco operating license to decommission the facility. The Commission acknowledged the notification on November 27, 1989. SMUD completely defueled the Rancho Seco reactor on December 8, 1989. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an Order and license condition on May 2, 1990, that prevented SMUD from moving fuel into the Rancho Seco reactor building without prior NRC approval.

3.0 Major Technical or Regulatory Issues

SMUD submitted a license termination plan (LTP) for NRC review on April 12, 2006. The LTP was approved on November 26, 2007.

The licensee is currently performing final status surveys of the site. NRC staff, with technical support from ORISE, is performing confirmatory surveys.

4.0 Estimated Date For Closure


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 30, 2014