State regulators approved transaction in August after 14-month review and decommissioning will start nearly 50 years sooner than originally planned
Accelerated Decommissioning Partners and Duke Energy successfully completed a transaction today to start decontamination and dismantlement of the Crystal River Nuclear Plant in Citrus County, Fla., in 2020 instead of 2067 – nearly 50 years sooner than originally planned.
Decommissioning a nuclear plant is a safe and well-defined process with oversight by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The process involves removing, packaging and shipping radioactive materials, such as the reactor vessel, to an off-site licensed disposal facility and then demolishing buildings.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of the nuclear plant’s license from Duke Energy to Accelerated Decommissioning Partners on April 1, 2020, and the Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved the transaction on Aug. 18, 2020.
“Our experienced team of decommissioning experts provides a turnkey solution to Duke Energy customers for a fixed price on a guaranteed schedule,” said Scott State, CEO of Accelerated Decommissioning Partners, a joint venture between NorthStar Group Services and Orano USA. “We are committed to being good partners with Duke Energy, state and federal regulators and the local community.”
Under the previously announced contract reached in May 2019, Duke Energy remains the Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed owner of the nuclear plant, property and equipment (except the dry cask storage facility assets) and retains ownership and control of the trust fund that pays for the decommissioning. Duke Energy will continue to have access to the site and will pay Accelerated Decommissioning Partners only for work completed.
Accelerated Decommissioning Partners becomes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed operator responsible for decommissioning the plant in compliance with all state and federal regulations.
Accelerated Decommissioning Partners also becomes responsible for operating and maintaining the on-site dry cask storage facility and owns the dry cask storage system assets, including the used nuclear fuel assemblies.
Performing decontamination and dismantlement activities during the next seven years instead of waiting until 2067, as originally planned, aligns with Accelerated Decommissioning Partners’ business model and benefits Duke Energy customers.
“The transaction has no impact on Duke Energy customer bills,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy’s state president in Florida. “The fixed-price contract locks in today’s prices, provides customers financial protection and transfers cost and schedule risks to Accelerated Decommissioning Partners. Successfully closing this transaction is an example of how we are making smart decisions that benefit our customers and company.”
The local community will not notice any difference in operations at the 5,100-acre Crystal River Energy Complex located on Florida’s Gulf Coast about 85 miles north of Tampa.
The complex will remain a Duke Energy industrial facility for decades to come. Accelerating the decommissioning of the nuclear plant allows for faster redevelopment of the plant’s property for Duke Energy’s eventual reuse.
Though Duke Energy has not determined how it might repurpose the property, the company has no plans to sell it.
Decommissioning planning and engineering work are underway.
Between 2021 and 2026, Accelerated Decommissioning Partners will remove, package and ship shielded radioactive components, such as the reactor vessel, to an off-site licensed disposal facility and then demolish the nuclear plant’s buildings.
When decontamination and dismantlement work is completed in 2027, only the dry cask storage facility that sits on less than 2 acres and houses used nuclear fuel assemblies will remain.
Accelerated Decommissioning Partners will continue 24-hour security, emergency response and radiological and environmental monitoring programs at the nuclear plant during and after the decommissioning process in compliance with state and federal requirements.
Accelerated Decommissioning Partners
Accelerated Decommissioning Partners is a joint venture formed in 2017 between NorthStar Group Services and Orano USA. The company provides a turnkey solution that completes the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission license termination process for a fixed price on a guaranteed schedule.
NorthStar Group Services is the largest demolition company in the world and owns and operates one of the most technically advanced demolition fleets of equipment in the U.S. NorthStar purchased the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in 2019 and is currently decommissioning it with support from Orano USA.
Orano USA is a major nuclear supplier of materials and services with in-house capabilities and decades of experience in used nuclear fuel management and dismantling, packaging and transporting radioactive materials. The company has the most advanced reactor vessel segmentation specialty tools and equipment in the industry. Orano also manufactured the Crystal River Nuclear Plant’s on-site NUHOMS dry cask storage facility, successfully transferring used nuclear fuel assemblies from the plant’s fuel storage pool to that facility in 2018.
Source: Company Press Release