On May 21, 2021, the last multi-purpose canister bearing Oyster Creek’s irradiated fuel was placed in dry storage emptying its Reactor Building of all fissile material and setting it on track for becoming the most expedited decommissioning program in the nation’s history.
The defueling of the plant, conducted with seamless safety and below project dose estimates by Holtec’s Nuclear Power Division (NPD), a mere 32 months after the Oyster Creek’s permanent shutdown is a new world record. This rapid de-fueling of the nuclear plant’s fuel pool is in accord with Holtec’s primary goal to inoculate its decommissioning sites from threats of any kind, including malevolent human acts. The Holtec team loaded a total of 33 high-capacity HI-STORM FW systems, with each system having the loading capacity of 89 BWR spent fuel assemblies. The Holtec team loaded 33 casks in a mere 21 weeks.
The storage facility containing previously loaded Transnuclear-supplied horizontal modules and the new Holtec vertical modules is pictured below.
The dry storage campaign was managed by Mr. Steven Soler, Director of NPD’s domestic field services business unit and Ms. Laurie Murray, Pool to Pad Program Manager. Mr. Jeffrey Dostal is the Plant’s Site Vice President. CDI, a Holtec subsidiary jointly owned with SNC Lavalin, is the General Decommissioning Contractor.
“We are implementing a state-of-the-art Aging Management program to protect the old horizontal modules from ravages of salt air while we work in parallel with the DOE to move all of the plant’s legacy high level waste to the ultimate safety of consolidated storage at our HI-STORE CIS site in New Mexico that is currently under NRC review,” says Holtec’s SVP of NPD Operations, Mr. P.K. Chaudhary. He called the Oyster Creek’s used fuel storage the most structurally robust industrial facility “whose extreme ruggedness and inherent safety” are second to none and is in keeping with our commitment to the people of central New Jersey.”