Humboldt Bay nuclear power plant in California (Photo: NRC)The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has terminated the licence for unit 3 of the Humboldt Bay nuclear power plant in California and released the site for unrestricted use.

The termination comes after Pacific Gas & Electric Co decommissioned the facility to meet the NRC’s radiation protection standards. Humboldt Bay 3 was a boiling water reactor operated by PG&E from 1963 to 1976. Units 1 and 2 at the site were fossil fuel power plants that were previously decommissioned. PG&E currently operates a separate fossil fuel plant adjacent to the site.

Humboldt Bay 3’s independent used fuel storage installation will remain under a separate NRC licence. PG&E remains responsible for the security and protection of the storage facility and is required to maintain $53.3 million in liability insurance coverage until the fuel has been removed from the storage facility site. PG&E also is responsible for safely decommissioning the storage facility site once the fuel is removed.

PG&E submitted final status surveys of the Humboldt Bay unit 3 site and requested licence termination in October. The NRC staff evaluated the surveys, conducted inspections, and reviewed confirmatory  analyses before concluding the site meets NRC criteria for licence termination for unrestricted use. 

Photo: Humboldt Bay nuclear power plant in California (Photo: NRC)