Nuclear Plants Dip Into Dismantling Funds to Pay for Waste 

COURTESY PILGRIM NUCLEAR POWER STATION

COURTESY PILGRIM NUCLEAR POWER STATION

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Closed nuclear reactors are dipping into funds set aside for their eventual dismantling to build waste storage on-site, raising questions about whether there will be enough money when the time comes.

A federal promise to take highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear plants is still unfulfilled.

It violates Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules for the plants to take money from their decommissioning trust funds to pay for building the concrete pads and rows of concrete and steel casks on them where waste is being stored after it is moved after being cooled in special storage pools.

But the NRC is granting “exemptions” from those rules every time it is asked.

The owners of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth announced earlier this month that the facility will close no later than 2019.

Closed plants including Vermont Yankee, the Kewaunee plant in Wisconsin, San Onofre I and 2 in California and Crystal River 3 in Florida have been given the OK to use decommissioning funds to pay for onsite waste storage.

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