Zion Crystal River Kewaunee

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A situation we at Bernie’s Team find interesting. Interesting in that they appear to be the same from a results perspective but very different when viewed from another perspective. All three plants are being lost to the nuclear generating community and the rate payers.

The decision to D&D Zion station was made in a very different environmental climate. I wonder if the decision were being made today if the result might be different. What do you think?

The decision to retire Kewaunee Station makes the least sense to me. Kewaunee is licensed to operate for twenty more years. There are no know technical issue to be concerned with but we are destined, it seems, to lose a perfectly good non-polluting generating asset because it cannot compete. What do you think?

Zion Nuclear Power Station was the third dual-reactor nuclear power plant in the Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) network and served Chicago and the northern quarter of Illinois. The plant was built in 1973, and the first unit started producing power in December, 1973. The second unit came online in September 1974.[1] This power generating station is located on 257 acres (104 ha)[2] of Lake Michigan shoreline, in the city of Zion, Lake County, Illinois. It is approximately 40 direct-line miles north of Chicago, Illinois and 42 miles (68 km) south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Zion Nuclear Power Station was retired on February 13, 1998. The plant had not been in operation since February 1997, after a control-room operator inserted the control rods too far during a shut-down of Reactor 1 and then withdrew the control rods without following procedures or obtaining supervisory permission. Reactor 2 was already shut down for refueling at the time of the incident. ComEd concluded that the plant could not produce competitively priced power because it would have cost $435 million to order steam generators which would not pay for themselves before the plant’s operating license expired in 2013.

All nuclear fuel was removed permanently from the reactor vessel and placed in the plant’s on-site spent fuel pool by March 9, 1998. Plans were to keep the facility in long-term safe storage (SAFSTOR) until Unit 2′s operating license expires on November 14, 2013. Decontamination and dismantlement were to begin after this date. The estimated date for closure was December 31, 2026.

On August 23, 2010, it was announced that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of Exelon’s (ComEd’s parent company) license to Energy Solutions of Salt Lake City. The company will begin the 10 year process of dismantling the site, and will eventually haul away pieces of the plant to its property in Utah. During the dismantling process, spent fuel will be transferred from the spent fuel pool into dry casks and placed into a newly constructed Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). The cost of these operations is expected to reach approximately 1 billion dollars. After this is complete, Exelon will resume responsibility of the site, including the ISFSI.  The power plant is the tallest structure in Lake County.

Unit 1 Unit 1
Operating status Permanently closed Permanently closed
Reactor type Pressurized water Pressurized water
Reactor manufacturer Westinghouse Westinghouse
Generation capacity 1,040 megawatts 1,040 megawatts
Operational date June 1973 December 1973
Closure date January 1998 January 1998


Following a comprehensive analysis, Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, announced today that it will retire the Crystal River Nuclear Plant (CR3) in Citrus County, Fla. The plant has been safely shut down and offline since late 2009.

The company is reviewing alternatives to replace the power produced by the unit, including the potential construction of a new, state-of-the-art natural gas-fueled plant. The company is evaluating a number of potential sites for new plant capacity that may be needed in the future to meet Florida customer needs, including sites in Citrus County.

The energy complex’s four coal plants remain in service in Citrus County.

“We believe the decision to retire the nuclear plant is in the best overall interests of our customers, investors, the state of Florida and our company,” said Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy. “This has been an arduous process of modeling, engineering, analysis and evaluation over many months. The decision was very difficult, but it is the right choice.”

“The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has been an important part of our generation fleet for three decades,” said Alex Glenn, state president, Progress Energy Florida. “We are very sensitive to the impact on our employees at the plant and on the Citrus County economy.

“We are working to place as many employees affected by today’s announcement in other positions within the company, and we are committed to working with Citrus County to lessen the effects as much as possible,” he said.

The company’s decision comes after a comprehensive, months-long engineering analysis of the damaged CR3 containment structure. The nuclear unit, which began operating in 1977, had been shut down in the fall of 2009 for refueling and replacement of its steam generators when a delamination, or crack, occurred in the outer layer of the containment building’s concrete wall.

The process of repairing the damage and restoring the unit to service resulted in additional delaminations in other sections of the containment structure in 2011.

During the ensuing months, Progress Energy – and, more recently, Duke Energy – evaluated the ability to successfully repair the unit, the risks associated with any repair and the repair scope as well as the likely costs and schedule.

A report completed in late 2012 confirmed that repairing the plant was a viable option but that the nature and potential scope of repairs brought increased risks that could raise the cost dramatically and extend the schedule.

NEIL coverage claims resolution

In addition, the company and its insurance carrier, Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited (NEIL), have reached a resolution of the company’s coverage claims through a mediation process. Under the terms of the mediator’s proposal, NEIL will pay an additional $530 million.

Along with the $305 million NEIL has already paid, customers will receive $835 million in insurance proceeds. This will be the largest claim payout in the history of NEIL.

“We believe accepting the mediator’s proposal is in the overall best interests of our customers and shareholders, and the monies we receive will go directly to customers to reduce their electric bills,” Rogers said.

Timing and next steps

The company is working to develop a comprehensive decommissioning plan. The plan will determine resource needs as well as the scope, schedule and other elements of the decommissioning.

The company intends to use the SAFSTOR option for decommissioning. Generally, this involves placing the facility into a safe storage configuration, requiring limited staffing to monitor plant conditions, until the eventual dismantling and decontamination activities occur, usually in 40 to 60 years.

The Kewaunee Power Station occupies a 900-acre site in Carlton, Wisconsin, 27 miles southeast of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Kewaunee was the fourth nuclear power plant built in Wisconsin, and the 44th built in the United States.

The plant’s original operator was Wisconsin Public Service and it was owned by Wisconsin Public Service (59%) and Alliant Energy (41%). From 2000 to July 2005 the plant was operated by Nuclear Management Company, of Hudson, Wisconsin. The plant is currently owned and operated by Dominion Resources, of Richmond, Virginia. In 2008, Dominion applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for an extension of its operating license for an additional 20 years. The license was extended until 2033.

The original A/E was Pioneer Services and Engineering for a Bernie’s Team coffee cup tell us who that company became.

Send me an e-Mail chuck@berniesteam.com.

On April 27, 2006, there was a small water leak at the plant, though no radioactive material was released.

On October 22, 2012 Dominion Resources announced they would shut down and decommission the plant in Mid-2013. Dominion’s chairman and CEO said “the decision was based purely on economics. Dominion was not able to move forward with our plan to grow our nuclear fleet in the Midwest to take advantage of economies of scale”. Lower natural gas costs and resultant lower electricity prices created an electricity market in which the plant could not compete.

Hitachi Zosen buys NAC International

Hitachi Zosen is to buy used fuel management specialist NAC International from its current owner, USEC, in a $45 million deal that will provide the Japanese company with a platform to expand its operations in used fuel transportation and storage.

Hitachi Zosen buys NAC International

Magnastor casks in use at the Palo Verde nuclear power plant (Image: NAC International)

Osaka-headquartered engineering company Hitachi Zosen, often referred to as Hitz, has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing nuclear fuel transport and storage casks and has fabricated dry cask storage and transportation systems for NAC since the 1980s. The company holds American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) N-stamp accreditation.

Hitachi Zosen president Minoru Furukawa expressed the company’s “strong aspiration” to further develop its used fuel business in partnership with NAC. A company press release noted that the acquisition would enable Hitachi Zosen to offer a ‘one stop’ solution for used nuclear fuel storage and transportation and to develop this business globally.

“In the aftermath of events at Fukushima, there is a greater focus on spent fuel storage. Hitachi Zosen has been actively involved in NAC activities through fabrication work and is well positioned to further develop market opportunities for NAC’s innovative systems,” USEC president and CEO John Welch explained.

USEC bought NAC International in 2004 for $16 million. Welch said that the decision to sell NAC formed part of the company’s strategy to focus on its core uranium business and the deployment of its American Centrifuge Technology over the next several years. The centrifuge project has been dogged by problems with both technology and finance. The $45 million sale, which has been achieved through a competitive process, will benefit the company’s balance sheet.

NAC president Ken Cole said the acquisition held great promise for his company’s customers and employees. “We have a long-standing relationship with Hitachi Zosen and have a deep respect for its excellent operations,” he said, adding that he expected the NAC organisation, which includes international nuclear fuel cycle consulting and information services as well as its storage and transport operations, to remain intact. The company’s Magnastor dry-cask technology was the first high capacity multipurpose used fuel storage technology to receive certification from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The transaction is expected to close in March. As part of the deal, USEC will agree not to engage in competition with NAC for three years thereafter.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News