Vermont Yankee used fuel transfer complete

03 August 2018

The transfer of all the used fuel from the storage pool at Entergy Corporation's shut-down Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to an on-site dry storage facility has been completed. The utility said the campaign had been completed ahead of schedule and within the projected budget.

HI-STORM casks at Vermont Yankee's ISFSI (Image: Holtec)

Vermont Yankee, near the town of Vernon, in the US state of Vermont, entered commercial operation in 1972. Entergy purchased the plant from the Vermont Yankee Power Corporation in 2002, but in 2013 announced its closure for economic reasons. The 600 MWe boiling water reactor plant was permanently shut down on 29 December 2014.

Entergy signed a contract with Holtec International in July 2015 for the defuelling of Vermont Yankee's storage pool. The overall project scope included construction of a second Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) pad, security expansion, engineering, licensing, manufacturing, delivery and loading of 45 HI-STORM cask systems, all on a turnkey basis.

The final movement of used fuel - a cask containing the remaining 39 use fuel assemblies - from the storage pool to the ISFSI was completed at 11.22pm on 1 August.

A total of 2996 used fuel assemblies have been loaded into dry storage canisters. The ISFSI now contains a total of 58 HI-STORM storage modules, of which 13 were loaded while the Vermont Yankee plant was still in operation.

In November 2016, Entergy announced the sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar Group Services Inc. NorthStar has committed to start decontamination and dismantling work at Vermont Yankee by 2021 and to complete decommissioning and site restoration - with the exception of the ISFSI - by 2030, 45 years sooner than under Entergy's original decommissioning schedule for the plant. NorthStar says these dates could potentially be brought forward to 2019 and 2026, respectively.

Entergy said: "The spent fuel transfer is an important milestone in decommissioning and supports the proposed sale of Entergy Nuclear Vermont to subsidiaries of NorthStar for the timely decommissioning and restoration of the site, a transaction targeted to be completed this year, pending regulatory approvals."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News