Rails Installed at Pilgrim Decommissioning Site to Support Upcoming Spent Fuel Campaign

With a multitude of activities underway, Holtec’s Oyster Creek and Pilgrim decommissioning sites continue to make significant progress and remain on schedule. This is made possible by the commitment and dedication of the stations’ decommissioning teams who continue to share and implement best practices across the fleet to ensure the safe and efficient decommissioning of each site.

“Our fleet approach to decommissioning allows us to build upon past industry decommissioning projects and continually improve with the latest technology,” explained Pam Cowan, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Holtec Decommissioning International. “It is through our collective effort as a fleet that we continue to make considerable progress at both decommissioning sites, which allows us to meet our commitments to the regulator as well as the local communities.”

Recognized as essential employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, our associates and contractors remain engaged and focused on decommissioning activities, while practicing social distancing and adhering to additional safety measures.

At Pilgrim, work continues in preparation of the spent fuel campaign, which is scheduled to take place later in May. With the fuel team now on site, critical path work has begun to support the campaign with the installation of rails, scaffolding and other necessary equipment. In addition, pre-campaign fuel bundle shuffles were recently completed. Eleven spent fuel dry casks will be moved to the current Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) as part of the campaign.

Pilgrim also began another key milestone with site characterization now underway. This will allow the Pilgrim decommissioning team to better understand and safely plan the deconstruction, demolition and dismantling phase of the project, while ensuring that proper radiological and environmental standards are met.

A Segment of the Steam Dryer Being Loaded into a Waste Storage Container for Disposal Offsite

The Oyster Creek decommissioning team also continues to make progress as it has begun removing plant components inside the reactor

building to support its spent fuel campaign scheduled for early next year. An array of components that are no longer in use have been removed, including motor control centers, control rod drive instrumentation, numerous piping and valves, as well as an entire bank of hydraulic control units (HCUs).

The removal of the HCUs will allow installation of Oyster Creek’s new liquid waste processing skid (LWPS) scheduled for late summer. The LWPS will serve as the site’s new water processing system and consolidate all water management into the reactor building.

In addition to this work, the decommissioning team has also begun segmentation and removal of one of the larger plant components, the steam dryer, which will be segmented into approximately 60 pieces. The pieces are being loaded into a Holtec designed Type A waste storage container that has a larger capacity than standard low level waste containers, helping to reduce the number of overall shipments needing to travel through the local community to a licensed offsite waste disposal facility.

“Innovation, creativity and precision are key in our decommissioning success,” added Cowan. “The decommissioning teams at our facilities are demonstrating that success each and every day, helping to set a new standard for decommissioning.”