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

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801 Warrenville Road, Lisle IL 60532

RIII-00-17 April 20, 2000

CONTACT: Jan Strasma (630)829-9663/e-mail:
Pam Alloway-Mueller (630)829-9662/e-mail:

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

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff members will conduct a public meeting April 26 to discuss the future decommissioning plans of Units 1 and 2 of the Zion Nuclear Power Station. The two-unit plant is located in Zion, Illinois.

The two units have not operated since February 1997. Commonwealth Edison Co., operator of the plant, permanently shut down the plant in February 1998 and all fuel had been removed from the reactor vessels by March 1998. Currently, used fuel is stored in the spent fuel pool facility on the site.

The public meeting will begin at 7 p.m., April 26, at the Zion-Benton High School which is located at 3901 21st Street in Zion, Illinois.

During the meeting, officials will discuss the Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report submitted by Commonwealth Edison. The report discusses decommissioning activities, estimated costs, and environmental impacts. The meeting also will include presentations by the NRC on the regulatory process for decommissioning. A question and answer session will follow the general meeting.

Both units at Zion began operating in 1973. Currently there are four other nuclear power reactors in the Midwest region that are undergoing decommissioning.

Under NRC decommissioning regulations, utilities are permitted to immediately dismantle a plant or to place it in safe storage for a period of time before dismantlement, provided certain regulations are met. Commonwealth Edison chose to put the Zion units in safe storage.

Two years before it is ready to terminate the Zion units' licenses, Commonwealth Edison is required to submit a final 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 conduct a public meeting near the plant to discuss the utility's plans and receive public comments. There also will be an opportunity for a public hearing regarding the utility's license termination plans.

NRC and the Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety currently are conducting inspections at both Zion units, and will continue to do so during the decommissioning process. The NRC also will independently evaluate the radiological condition of the plant site during the final phase.

The Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report is available for public review at the NRC's Public Document Room located at the Gelman Building, 2120 L Street, NW, in Washington, D.C. It also is accessible electronically from the ADAMS Public Library component on the NRC web site which is The ADAMS Accession number for the document is ML003685889.

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