By Rich Burroni
The sale of Indian Point in May 2021 to Holtec International began a 12-15 year timeline to decommission the facility. This process involves many different critical paths: spent fuel management, site characterization, gapping and abandoning systems, reactor vessel segmentation, and demolition.
The first critical path we embarked upon was to safely remove, and store, all of Unit 2’s spent fuel. We began loading the 1st cask, of 28 total, in August of 2022. This involved safely loading 896 spent fuel assemblies into multi-purpose canisters, under water in the spent fuel pool, then transferring those canisters into HI-STORM 100 overpacks. These overpacks, made of steel and concrete, weigh 360,000 each and provide safe, storage of our fuel.
I am happy to let the region know that on February 1 we completed this loading project. As a technology company, that works hard to innovate in the spent fuel industry our use of round-the-clock fuel loading and efficiencies learned from both industry best practices and our previous cask campaigns, enabled the team to conclude work in the Unit 2 Fuel Storage Building three weeks earlier than scheduled.
While this milestone is one that we celebrate, we know the job ahead of us remains a long-term one. In May, workers will begin loading 1,312 assemblies of spent fuel from the Unit 3 Fuel Storage Building into 41 casks for storage on the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Pad. The Dry Fuel Project will conclude with spent fuel from the Unit 2 and Unit 3 spent fuel pools placed in 127 casks.
Once our fuel campaign ends, and all the casks are safely loaded, the team at Indian Point will continue to work to decommission the site and allow for eventual repurposing of the site. Our team is made of hardworking local men and woman who are proud to undertake this important project for both our region and the State of New York.
Rich Burroni, a lifelong resident of Westchester County, is Holtec’s Site Vice President for Indian Point.