Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors

https://www.nei.org/Master-Document-Folder/Backgrounders/Fact-Sheets/Decommissioning-Nuclear-Energy-Facilities original link

source: Nuclear Energy Institute.

August 2016

“Ten reactors have completed decommissioning safely to either the point of license termination or the point where the remaining activities are limited to management of an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). Currently, 18 commercial power reactors are in decommissioning, and several more will transition to this process over the next few years.”

“After closure of a nuclear power plant, the licensee has to reduce the residual radioactivity to safe levels. This will allow the NRC to release the property and permanently terminate the facility’s license. The site must be decommissioned within 60 years of the plant ceasing operations. The decommissioning process involves removing the used nuclear fuel from the reactor, placing it into the used fuel pool, and eventually into dry storage containers (which can be stored on-site or transported off-site); dismantling systems or components containing radioactive products (e.g., the reactor vessel); and cleaning up or dismantling contaminated materials from the facility. Contaminated materials can be disposed of in two ways: decontaminated on-site or removed and shipped to a waste-processing, storage or disposal facility.”

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