The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved plans by Duke Energy Florida to accelerate the decommissioning of its Crystal River nuclear power plant, but the Florida Public Service Commission must still sign off on the plan. The timeline proposes complete decommissioning by 2027.
Citing health precautions and supply chain and labor problems due to the coronavirus pandemic, Southern says work at its Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 in Georgia may be delayed or disrupted. Energy demand may decline and add to factors that could hinder financing as well as facility construction and operation, Southern says.
Pennsylvania state Sen. Katie Muth is calling on Exelon's Limerick nuclear power plant to improve its response to the coronavirus outbreak to protect workers and the community during the plant's refueling. The plant's workforce has two confirmed cases of coronavirus and has continued with the refueling operation despite county officials determining its pandemic response site plan was not adequate.
Exelon Generation's Quad-Cities nuclear power plant near Cordova, Ill., has performed a deep cleaning in certain areas of the plant after a worker tested positive for coronavirus. The plant has increased the number of workers on-site to complete a required refueling operation.
New Mexico's congressional delegates and a number of citizen groups are calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to postpone hearings on a proposed temporary nuclear waste storage site until the coronavirus pandemic ends. They are also asking for the draft environmental impact statement comment period to be extended to at least six months.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has released a review of a Japanese advisory subcommittee's proposals for dealing with stored waste water at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The IAEA says both the option of a vapor release process and a plan to discharge the water into the ocean are "technically feasible," David Dalton writes.
The coronavirus outbreak has caused a shortage of protective gear needed to protect the 4,000 workers doing decommissioning work at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. "We are involved in decommissioning work that can't ever stop and so we are taking every precaution we can," said Joji Hara of Tokyo Electric Power, the plant's utility operator.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico to reduce the amount of nuclear waste it has received for disposal, dropping to about four shipments in March from 24 in January. A number of staffers have been allowed to work from home and the remaining onsite employees are performing only essential mission-critical tasks.
A second worker at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site in South Carolina has tested positive for coronavirus, and managers are monitoring possible cases with 52 employees who are symptomatic and 72 considered asymptomatic. "We are currently putting a system in place to bring back the 72 asymptomatic employees per the new guidance [from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," said SRS spokesperson Amy Boyette.
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