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Grundy Reporter

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

DRESDEN NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNIT 2: NRC Approves Changes to Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s Emergency Planning Requirements

Local Government

By Press release submission | Nov 10, 2019


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.

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