Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Unit 2 issued the following announcement on Nov. 5.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted a request to alter the emergency preparedness
plan for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., to reflect the plant’s
decommissioning status. Entergy Nuclear Operations requested the change prior to the
Aug. 22, 2019, order issued by the NRC staff, which approved the transfer of Entergy's licensed
operating authority to Holtec, LLC. Under the terms of the order, Entergy’s pending request was
also transferred to Holtec Decommissioning International.
The changes come in the form of exemptions from NRC requirements that are no longer
appropriate for the plant now that it has permanently ceased operations. These exemptions are
consistent with NRC actions for previous decommissioning plants. Once HDI implements the
exemptions, state and local governments may rely on comprehensive emergency management (“all
hazard”) planning for off-site emergency response to events at Pilgrim, rather than having a
dedicated offsite radiological emergency response plan. As a result, there will not be a 10-mile
emergency planning zone identified in Pilgrim’s license. The plant will maintain an onsite
emergency plan and response capabilities, including the continued notification of state government
officials in the event of an emergency declaration.
The exemption request provided analyses to show the exemptions are warranted. When
compared to an operating power reactor, the risk of an offsite radiological release is significantly
lower and the types of possible accidents are significantly fewer at a nuclear power reactor that has
permanently ceased operations and removed fuel from the reactor vessel. The NRC staff evaluated
and confirmed these analyses, along with considering comments from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency. Based on the NRC staff’s evaluation and recommendation, the Commission
approved the exemptions today. The exemptions, a safety evaluation and associated license
amendments reflecting the changes will be issued in the next few weeks. Under the exemptions,
HDI may not implement the changes to its emergency preparedness plans until
April 1, 2020.
Original source can be found here.