United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NRC Staff to Meet with Public to Discuss Future Zion Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Activities



NRC Seal NRC NEWS

U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION III

801 Warrenville Road, Lisle IL 60532

CONTACT:    Jan Strasma (630) 829-9663/e-mail: rjs2@nrc.gov
Angela Greenman (630) 829-9662/e-mail: opa3@nrc.gov

NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: RIII-98-33

May 20, 1998

NRC STAFF TO MEET WITH PUBLIC TO DISCUSS FUTURE ZION NUCLEAR PLANT DECOMMISSIONING ACTIVITIES

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will hold a public meeting on June 1 to discuss the future decommissioning plans for the Zion Nuclear Power Station, located in Zion, Illinois.

Commonwealth Edison Company, owner of the plant, has no plans to dismantle the facility in the near future. When the plant shut down in February, the utility indicated that it will keep the facility in long-term safe storage until it begins dismantlement after 2010.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Zion Benton High School, 3901 21st Street, on the southeast corner of Kenosha Road and 21st Street, in Zion. Parking is provided in the south parking lot.

Dr. Donald Moon, co-chairman of the Zion Community Advisory Panel and president of Shimer College, will be moderator.

The meeting will include presentations by the NRC on the decommissioning regulatory process and by Commonwealth Edison on the status of Zion's decommissioning activities. A question and answer period will follow.

Since the utility announced Zion's permanent shutdown in January, NRC has received the required certifications that power operations have ceased and that all nuclear fuel has been removed permanently from the reactor vessel. The fuel has been placed in the plant's onsite spent fuel pool.

Under NRC decommissioning regulations, utilities are permitted to dismantle the plant immediately or to place it in safe storage for a period of time before fully dismantling it, provided certain regulations are met.

Commonwealth Edison has two years to submit a report to the NRC which describes the planned decommissioning activities, detailed schedule, and cost estimate. It also must provide a statement as to whether environmental impacts of decommissioning have been covered in previous environmental impact statements or reports. If not, a license amendment is required to address environmental concerns.

Once received by NRC, this report (known as the post-shutdown decommissioning activities report, or PSDAR), will be placed in the NRC local public document room located at the Waukegan Public Library, 128 North County Street, Waukegan, Illinois.

Two years before it is ready to terminate Zion's license, Commonwealth Edison is required to submit a license termination plan to the NRC. This plan, among other things, must describe any remaining radioactivity on the site, the final radiation survey details and the site's planned end-use. NRC will hold a public meeting near the plant to discuss the utility's plans and receive public comments. There will also be an opportunity for a public hearing regarding the utility's license termination plans.

NRC will continue to conduct inspections during the decommissioning process. The agency will also independently evaluate the radiological condition of the plant site before the license is terminated.

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