W26  Reactor Decommissioning: Learning from the Past to Help Overcome Future Challenges

The number of power reactors in the United States entering decommissioning has drastically increased in recent years. As 10 power reactors have undergone the entire decommissioning process, and there is recent experience at four that will be completing decommissioning in the near term, new trends in decommissioning approaches have emerged. In this session, licensees will share key lessons learned from the decommissioning of Humboldt Bay, LaCrosse, and Zion, as well as examples from international sites. Each of these domestic examples is unique. The Humboldt Bay reactor was shut down for refueling and modifications in 1976 and placed in SAFSTOR after economic analysis indicated it would not be cost-effective to restart. Pacific Gas and Electric did not commence decommissioning and dismantling of the unit until nearly 2009 and maintained the license throughout decommissioning. Zion represents the first generation of a new model for decommissioning, in which the license was transferred temporarily to Zion Solutions to expedite decommissioning, and the site entered DECON rather than remain in SAFSTOR for a long period of time. The approach for LaCrosse is a blended model. The reactor entered SAFSTOR shortly after ceasing operation in 1987. Dairyland Power Cooperative conducted decommissioning activities until 2014, when it decided to return the facility to SAFSTOR until additional personnel resources were acquired. Then, in 2016, the license was temporarily transferred to LaCrosse Solutions to complete decommissioning. The licenses for these sites are expected to be terminated in the 2019–2020 time frame. Take-away messages will include insights from industry experts who have undergone recent decommissioning projects and are changing the decommissioning landscape with their business models for implementing current decommissioning projects.

  • Bruce Watson, Branch Chief, Division of Uranium Recovery and Waste Programs, NMSS.NRC tel: 301-415-6221, e-mail: Bruce.Watson@nrc.gov


  • Kimberly Conway, Project Manager, Division of Uranium Recovery and Waste Programs, NMSS/NRC tel: 301-415-1335, e-mail: Kimberly.Conway@nrc.gov

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, August 26, 2019