CSC: DO 265 Dissenting Opinion

DOCKET NO. 265 - Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. application to modify an existing electric generating facility (Millstone Power Station) to establish an independent spent fuel storage installation on property located off Rope Ferry Road, Waterford, Connecticut.








Dissenting Opinion

Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (Dominion) proposes to establish an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at the existing Millstone Nuclear Power Station (Millstone) located off Rope Ferry Road, Waterford, Connecticut. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulates commercial nuclear electric generating facilities, ISFSI sites, and nuclear spent fuel dry-storage technology. The State of Connecticut regulates new electric generating facility sites and modifications to existing electric generating facilities. Presently, Unit 2 and Unit 3 are licensed to operate to 2015 and 2025, respectively.

The Town of Waterford issued regulate and restrict orders consistent with State law. Many of the conditions issued by the Town were adopted by the Connecticut Siting Council (Council) in its decision and we agree with those conditions. However, the Council preempted the Town’s order of 19 horizontal storage modules (HSM) to 49 HSMs. On this point we disagree.

The Council’s assessment on the need and reliability of the continued operation of Millstone, alternatives to spent fuel management, alternative ISFSI sites, ecological, historic, recreational, and public health and safety are thorough and we agree on those issues. Moreover, the industry practice to reserve space in the spent fuel pool for a full reactor core offload is a safe and prudent practice. We would agree that an imminent need to store spent nuclear fuel in dry storage for Unit 2 to maintain full reactor core offload in the year 2005 is warranted. However, the need to store spent nuclear fuel in dry storage prior to Unit 3 losing full reactor core offload in 2020 is questionable and is not needed at this time. Subsequently, this Council decided in its Decision and Order to allow the Certificate Holder to petition the Council for additional HSMs, if needed.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is the federal agency to establish, construct, and operate a national repository for spent nuclear fuel. At present, there is no national disposal site; however, DOE is preparing a license application for a spent nuclear fuel storage site, Yucca Mountain, in the State of Nevada. While milestones for operations have expired, federal efforts to establish Yucca Mountain as the national repository for spent nuclear fuel are ongoing. More will be known about Yucca Mountain or another national repository site during the next ten years when Unit 2’s current license expires in 2015.

The applicant testified that it takes 18 to 24 months to manufacture and ship a HSM. Also, the applicant contends that it is not fiscally prudent to purchase and store HSMs on-site and is not part of this proposal.

Based on the Town of Waterford’s decision of 19 HSMs, the need for continued operation and spent fuel dry-storage for Unit 2, the Council’s condition to allow a petition process for additional HSMs, and the long lead time to acquire HSMs, we believe only 19 HSMs are needed for Unit 2 through the year 2015.

Commissioner Donald W. Downes                            Brian O’Neill
Designee: Gerald J. Heffernan

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Dated: June 23, 2004         

Content Last Modified on 6/25/2004 3:06:31 PM