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PG&E selects Orano USA to transfer spent nuclear fuel to dry storage

PG&E

AVILA BEACH, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced Wednesday that it has selected Orano USA as its vendor to safely transfer all of its remaining spent fuel.

Orano USA will transfer the remaining spent fuel from Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) operations to onsite interim dry storage.

PG&E’s said this is a part of the company's commitment to move spent fuel safely and prudently from wet to dry storage following the end of operations at DCPP in 2025.

Orano’s Extended Optimized Storage NUHOMS® system was reviewed and approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and has been employed at several facilities, according to PG&E.

PG&E’s Vice President of Decommissioning and Technical Services, Maureen Zawalick, said "stakeholder input was incorporated throughout the vendor selection process, including recommendations from the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel related to spent fuel storage."

"Additionally, PG&E collaborated with the California Energy Commission during the review process for this project and partnered with B. John Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences at UCLA to conduct a first-of-a-kind risk assessment of fuel storage and transfer strategies," said Zawalick. "These additional steps ensure a thorough process to mitigate risk and keep us, as a company, true to our stand that everyone and everything is always safe."

PG&E said it will safely store spent fuel on site at DCPP until the federal government fulfills its obligation to store fuel at a permanent repository or another licensed interim facility in the United States.

The EOS NUHOMS system design that will be used at DCPP includes enhanced thermal and seismic capabilities, which will require additional NRC safety reviews, according to PG&E.

Orano USE said that once approved, this results in the transfer of all spent fuel to dry storage in approximately two years after the plant’s scheduled closure in 2025.

Article Topic Follows: Environment & Energy
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Lily Dallow

Lily Dallow is a digital journalist and assignment editor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Lily, click here.

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