Beaver Valley to build dry nuclear fuel store

18 September 2012

FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) has announced plans start construction of a new dry nuclear fuel storage system at its two-unit Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. Used nuclear fuel is currently stored in spent fuel pools at the site, but they are expected to reach full storage capacity by 2015.

“Because a national repository for used nuclear fuel has not yet been developed, Beaver Valley must plan for additional storage space,” FENOC said in a statement. Construction of a new fuel storage system is slated to begin this autumn (2012), and completion is planned for 2014.

Initial installation will consist of six airtight, steel and concrete canisters. They will be stored on a thick concrete pad located within Beaver Valley’s highly secured, protected area. Up to 47 additional canisters will be added as needed, FENOC said.

"Installation of additional used fuel storage capacity is vital to the future operation of the Beaver Valley station," said Beaver Valley site vice president Paul Harden. "With the safety and health of the public and environment the top priority, much effort went in to the planning and selection of the used fuel storage system. Having the system in place will ensure Beaver Valley remains a safe and reliable source of energy for years to come."

According to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) map, dated September, just seven of the USA’s reactor sites had not announced their intentions regarding the construction of Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations. Since the map was published, however, Ameren UE has signed a long-term contract to order casks for its Callaway station and Beaver Valley has revealed these plans to build a new dry store.

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