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  • What is the current condition of Kewaunee Power Station?
    The Kewaunee Power Station (KPS) ceased operations on May 7, 2013, and no longer has a license to operate. All spent fuel has been removed from the fuel pool, placed in dry storage casks and has been relocated on-site to specially designed storage pads. The facility recently transitioned from long-term dormancy (SAFSTOR) to active decommissioning (DECON) and staffed an organization focused on safe, efficient, and regulatory compliant radiological decommissioning and site restoration.
  • What are the benefits to near-term decommissioning KPS versus keeping it in “SAFSTOR”?
    There are several significant benefits to proceeding with the decommissioning now instead of waiting. They include taking full advantage of the knowledge and experience of those familiar with the facility that participated in the operation and shut down of KPS. Leveraging the significant technological advancements that have occurred in the last 30 years and current decommissioning projects EnergySolutions has performed safely drawing on lessons learned from past projects which include the Zion Nuclear Power Station in Illinois, the La Crosse Decommissioning project in La Cross, Wisconsin and the SEFOR test reactor decommissioning project located in Arkansas. All this expertise will be applied to safely decommission KPS years ahead of the previous schedule.
  • How long does it take to complete the license transfer with the NRC?
    Our experience shows the NRC approval process for a license transfer takes between 1 – 2 years.
  • What other nuclear power plants has EnergySolutions decommissioned?
    EnergySolutions has completed the physical decommissioning of the Zion Nuclear Plant in Illinois, the largest nuclear decommissioning project completed in the U.S as well as the La Crosse Nuclear Plant in Wisconsin and SEFOR test reactor in Arkansas. In addition, the company is in the process of decommissioning Three Mile Island Unit 2 in Pennsylvania, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant in Nebraska and the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in California. We will bring the extensive experience and lessons learned from these projects to KPS.
  • Why is EnergySolutions choosing to fully decommission Kewaunee Power Station now rather than just keep the plant in monitored storage?
    We have experienced staff and decommissioning subject matter experts who are currently available due to the recent completion of the Zion and La Crosse decommissioning projects that can be deployed to KPS enhancing the execution of the project. Also, progressing with decommissioning now removes the facility and its radioactive components and achieves a timely site restoration which is a more desirable status for the site and the community.
  • What is the plan for the final decommissioning of the plant? Will the decommissioning of KPS be different than other plants?
    Every nuclear power plant decommissioning project has its own unique set of decommissioning circumstances and KPS is no different. The advantage EnergySolutions has in this project is extensive experience and lessons learned from current and completed decommissioning projects that will be applied to the KPS project. The plan is to decommission the plant so the site can be remediated for unrestricted future use with only the spent fuel storage facility remaining under the NRC license until the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) removes the spent fuel.
  • How long will it take to complete the decommissioning of KPS?
    We estimate after transition from SAFSTOR it will take approximately 8 years to fully decommission the facility and restore the land for future beneficial reuse. Please keep in mind these are estimates and could change as we complete the detailed planning.
  • How much will it cost to decommission KPS?
    The projected cost for radiological decommissioning of KPS by 2030 is anticipated to be approximately $700 Million (in 2021 dollars). This does not include the projected cost for spent nuclear fuel management and site restoration. The current funds in the existing KPS Nuclear Decommissioning Trust (NDT) fund provides adequate funding for decommissioning when accounting for fund growth over the decommissioning term.
  • How much money is in the Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Fund? What if the fund runs out of money?
    As of 12/31/22, there was $745.6 million in the NDT. Accounting for fund growth over the term of the decommissioning, the fund will be sufficient to complete the project and no shortfalls are expected.
  • How many people will be employed at KPS during the decommissioning?
    The decommissioning will be done in various stages each involving a different number of workers. We expect at its peak that the project will employ approximately 200 people. Our intention is to hire as many local workers as possible and to maximize the services and support of qualified local vendors and contractors.
  • Will EnergySolutions have other contractors working on the project?
    To perform the decommissioning work on this project EnergySolutions will rely on its experience which has proven successful and hire as needed local contractors and specialized vendors to execute the project.
  • Where will the radiological waste be stored?
    All the Class A low-level radioactive waste will be shipped to our waste disposal facility in Utah’s West Desert called the Clive disposal facility. Some material that exceeds Class A limits will be shipped to a facility in Texas. Any material greater than class C (GTCC) will be packaged in licensed canisters and stored on site along with spent nuclear fuel. This is the case with all nuclear power plant sites in the U.S. Once the government fulfills its commitment to have a centralized storage facility in operation the canisters will be relocated.
  • Is it safe to store spent fuel on site?
    Yes. The fuel is stored in - high-integrity storage canisters in a specially designed facility known as an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). This facility has a full-time security force and has been engineered and designed to be protected from natural events. Most nuclear plants in the U.S. have similar facilities. These facilities are regulated and licensed for use by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
  • How will the low-level waste be transported to Utah and will people be exposed to radiation from the shipments?
    The low-level waste will be shipped by rail and truck. Low-level radioactive waste shipments are under strict regulations set by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and by federal and state transportation agencies. EnergySolutions is the most experienced transporter of radioactive material in the United States and safety is our number one priority. People are not expected to be exposed to radiation during the shipments due to the packaging and other safety precautions.
  • How is radiation contained during waste shipments from KPS to the EnergySolutions disposal site?
    Low level radioactive waste shipped from KPS to the EnergySolutions disposal site in Utah will be carefully surveyed to ensure they meet strict NRC and Department of Transportation (DOT) packaging, shipping, and radiological requirements. The low-level radioactive waste will be loaded and shipped in intermodal containers with additional shielding, as necessary.
  • Will any normal, non-radioactive debris be sent to local landfills or be recycled?
    That is certainly an option. Many of the structures and components at KPS are not radioactive and do not contain any hazardous materials or coatings. We will work with state and local officials to determine a safe and economical way to dispose of non-radioactive material in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Will there be a need for an offsite Emergency Plan during KPS decommissioning?
    Because the spent fuel has already been relocated to the on-site ISFSI, previous risks associated with an operating plant drops dramatically. However, because spent fuel does remain on-site, we are required by regulation to maintain an Emergency Plan during decommissioning.
  • What are the potential new risks to our health as KPS is decommissioned? What measures are you taking to monitor public health and prevent health risk to our community?
    There will be no new risks to the public health and safety from the decommissioning project. We will implement robust industrial safety and radiological controls during the work to protect the workers, public and the environment. On-site and off-site environmental monitoring will be performed in accordance with local, state, and federal requirements, including continued monitoring by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Results of the monitoring will be made public.
  • Will KPS establish a KPS Community Advisory Panel for its decommissioning process?
    This is under consideration and will be decided at a later date if deemed necessary. EnergySolutions has established a project website dedicated to information about nuclear power plant decommissioning, regulatory affairs and KPS decommissioning status throughout the life of the project.
  • Is it safe for people to enter buildings or access the KPS property?
    The facility and property are safe for workers and approved visitors who are on the premises for specific reasons or business purposes. Now that physical decommissioning is underway our plans are to execute with worker safety as the highest priority. The KPS decommissioning will be completed in accordance with strict worker exposure limits set by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. There is no trespassing on the property without approval from Kewaunee Solutions.
  • What does "releasing the site" mean - are we to take release of the site for unrestricted use literally - no restrictions at all as far as what the land could be used for in the future?
    Releasing the site for unrestricted use means the site radiological contamination will have been removed to the point the NRC no longer requires restrictions to protect the public. Note that a small portion of the site will still be restricted where interim storage of spent fuel remains
  • How much of the area is set aside for the ISFSI - can that be further defined or quantified?
    The Independent Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFSI) and surrounding fences typically take up approximately 5 acres. This area would remain restricted until the US Department of Energy retrieves the spent fuel.
  • Can you explain the process for decommissioning KPS?
    The KPS decommissioning will be completed in approximately eight years and will include the following: Perform radiological and non-radiological site characterization to fully understand the extent of any contamination and establish the appropriate waste streams for disposal. Reducing the radiological source term from the reactor vessel and its internals. Reducing the radiological source term of large components Packaging, transporting, and disposing of large components. Removing, packaging, and transporting the Class B and C radioactive waste for disposal in Texas. Removing, packaging, and disposing of all remaining systems and equipment in preparation for structural demolition and transporting the Class A radioactive waste for disposal in Utah. Demolishing and dispositioning all plant structures to nominally three feet below grade. Reactor Containment Building demolition Performing the final status surveys to verify the site is clean and comply with NRC clean-up standards. Backfilling the site to the existing grade elevation. Performing final site restoration to comply with State of Wisconsin clean-up standards.
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