FAQs

Oyster Creek Decommissioning

  • How long will it take to decommission Oyster Creek?

    Holtec has set a project goal of decommissioning the Oyster Creek site to permit the NRC license to release the site except for the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) within eight years or less.

  • How can the local community be sure that the decommissioning project will be completed?

    In addition to safety performance, the financial expenditure on the project is closely monitored by the NRC. If the expenditure were to overrun the projected spend rate, then the NRC can require the owner to provide supplemental financial guarantees. No decommissioning project has ever been left unfinished by a contractor.

  • How confident is Holtec that the decommissioning of Oyster Creek will be done safely?

    Holtec is, and has been for 30 years, an industry leader in safe and secure storage of spent nuclear fuel. Holtec is committed to the nuclear industry, and part of that also includes the safe decommissioning of nuclear power plants.

  • Will Exelon continue to be involved during decommissioning?

    Exelon no longer owns nor has responsibility for Oyster Creek.

  • Who will be responsible for security?

    Safety and security remain the top priority at the site. As long as used fuel remains on site, a security force must be in place according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations.

  • What are the safety implications of leaving spent fuel in canisters located near the coastline? Aren’t there flooding concerns for the site?

    As recently as 2012, Superstorm Sandy caused flooding in the Pine Barrens. Yet, flooding only reached 6 ft. above sea level. Oyster Creek’s spent fuel is very safely stored at 24 ft. above sea level.

  • How often are the casks inspected?

    Casks at nuclear sites are subject to a well-conceived program of surveillance and monitoring approved by the NRC. In additions, the canisters are all-welded vessels; they have no seals or gaskets that can leak. As a result, no canister has ever leaked in service at any nuclear site.

  • How long do the casks last?

    The design life for a cask is hundreds of years. A cask’s original NRC license is for 20 years. The license can be renewed for additional 20-year intervals based off the implementation of the aging management plan required by the NRC.

  • What will happen to the water in the spent fuel pool?

    The water will be processed on site and any materials collected from the water will be properly disposed at facilities licensed to receive these materials. The clean water will be properly returned into the sewer system.

  • What happens to low-level waste?

    Low-level waste is disposed at facilities licensed to receive this material.