Wed October 24, 2012
Watchdogs to Watch Kewaunee Decommissioning
Consumer groups and federal watchdogs say they'll keep a close eye on the eventual decommissioning of the Kewaunee nuclear power plant.
The plant's owner, Dominion Resources, says the Kewaunee power station will stop operating in about six months. Then the company will begin a teardown process that could take up to six decades. The Citizen's Utility Board of Wisconsin says when Dominion bought the Kewaunee plant seven years ago, the firm promised to have enough money set aside for decommissioning. CUB's Charlie Higley says he doesn't want to see Wisconsin ratepayers have to kick in more money, "Dominion also has to turn leftover money back to ratepayers."
Higley says CUB will also keep tabs on the highly radioactive nuclear waste that will likely be added to the concrete and steel storage containers already at the Kewaunee site. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be responsible for safety issues. NRC spokeswoman Prema Chandrathil says Dominion still has to submit an official shutdown notice to her agency. But she says the NRC does have strict rules on decommissioning.
Chandrathil also says the public will have a chance to comment on the Kewaunee decommissioning plans. She acknowledges that teardown of the former Genoa nuclear plant near La Crosse is taking many years, and major decommissioning work at the former Zion plant south of Kenosha is just ramping up 15 years after the plant stopped producing power.