Decommissioning activities at Holtec’s Oyster Creek and Pilgrim sites continue to move forward on schedule.

Keeping on track, however, is secondary to our number one goal – safety. From working to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to following the strictest industrial safety practices, to ensuring nuclear and environmental standards protect the public, safety is woven into every single task, every single day.

“Every day, the dedicated and talented women and men working at our decommissioning sites meet and exceed milestones, all with safety, efficiency and precision,” said Pam Cowan, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Holtec Decommissioning International. “As a company, our number one goal is protecting the health and safety of our workforce and the public, and everything we do is with that objective in mind.”

Decommissioning work at both locations is currently focused on what is known as the “refuel floor,” the level of the reactor building where the used fuel pool is housed. Both stations are sharing best practices and lessons learned, to secure their status as a worldwide leader in decommissioning.

Oyster Creek Segmentation: Best in the World!

Innovation, teamwork and groundbreaking methods for the segmentation of the reactor internals at Oyster Creek has resulted in the most time-efficient steam dryer segmentation in boiling water reactor history.

Workers at Oyster Creek Using a Tool Attached to an Overhead Crane to
Segment the Steam Dryer, Currently Under Water

The team completed this project in 40 workdays completely safe and error-free. That’s better than any other nuclear facility in the world! According to available data, steam dryer segmentation at the Oskarshamn 2 nuclear plant in Sweden was completed in 42 workdays, followed by the Barseback 2 nuclear plant, also in Sweden, at 47 workdays.

When Oyster Creek was operating, the steam dryer removed moisture from the steam before it passed into the turbines, where the steam pressure made the turbines spin. The steam dryer is not a safety component. Dryer steam helped to increase power production and reduce moisture carryover minimizing opportunities for component corrosion.

Moving Used Fuel at Pilgrim

Pilgrim Crew Lifting a Multi-Purpose Canister, Which Will be Used to House Used Fuel Assemblies When Removed from the Spent Fuel Pool

At Pilgrim, crews are moving used fuel assemblies out of the spent fuel pool and into dry storage. A total of 748 assemblies are being securely stowed in 11 Multi-Purpose Canisters (MPCs).

The MPCs, each containing 68 used fuel assemblies, will be weld-sealed shut and moved to the station’s Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) as part of the campaign, which should conclude later this summer.

Successful completion of the fuel move campaign will help set the stage for the station’s next milestone – segmentation of reactor internals.

Pilgrim and Commonwealth Reach an Agreement

Holtec Decommissioning International and Holtec Pilgrim came to a comprehensive agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The agreement sets forth very specific standards for cleaning up the site. It also provides clarity and removes the uncertainty of potential legal rulings.

“Our tenets of safety and environmental stewardship are in lock step with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Pam Cowan said. “We look forward to a strong working partnership as we decommission Pilgrim.”

To read Holtec’s news release, the agreement, or to view the most recent NDCAP meeting, which discussed the agreement, please visit the links below:

News Release
Agreement with the Commonwealth
June 22, 2020 NDCAP