EnergySolutions Acquires Wisconsin Plant for Accelerated Decommissioning

World Nuclear News

EnergySolutions has announced it is to acquire the Kewaunee nuclear power plant from current owner Dominion Energy, and will complete the decommissioning of the single-unit plant, which shut down in 2013

The two companies have signed a definitive agreement and will now finalise the required regulatory filings and begin the application process to transfer control of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses for the plant, EnergySolutions said.

Work to transfer all of Kewaunee's used fuel to an onsite dry fuel storage facility was completed in 2017, under a turnkey contract awarded by operator Dominion Energy to NAC International. Used fuel would normally stay in the reactor pool for five years before being transferred to dry storage, but the pool-to-pad transfer was completed at Kewaunee within four years of plant shutdown thanks to the development by NAC of a special fuel loading plan to distribute the heat from the fuel more evenly and process optimization measures.

The remaining decommissioning work at Kewaunee - including the complete dismantlement of the facility and removal of all radioactive waste - will now will be carried out by EnergySolutions.

"Progressing with decommissioning … now will accelerate completion of decommissioning activities and allow considerations for beneficial reuse of the property years ahead of the original decommissioning schedule," EnergySolutions said.

EnergySolutions is currently decommissioning Three Mile Island unit 2 in Pennsylvania, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California and Fort Calhoun in Nebraska. The company has completed decommissioning work at the Zion plant in Illinois and the La Crosse boiling water reactor in Wisconsin.

Kewaunee, a 566 MWe (net) pressurized water reactor, began commercial operations in 1974 and was sold to Dominion by Wisconsin Public Service and Wisconsin Power & Light in July 2005.