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TMI closure to be discussed in webinar, July 23 event in Hershey

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 7/10/19

A webinar and a public meeting have been set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to provide information regarding the decommissioning of Three Mile Island Unit 1, which is to be prematurely shut …

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TMI closure to be discussed in webinar, July 23 event in Hershey

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A webinar and a public meeting have been set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to provide information regarding the decommissioning of Three Mile Island Unit 1, which is to be prematurely shut down by Exelon by Sept. 30.

The public webinar, which requires advance online registration, will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 16.

The webinar will provide key facts about the decommissioning process and how the NRC regulates such activities through on-site inspections and other reviews, the NRC said in a Monday press release.

Participants in the public webinar will be able to view slides prepared by NRC staff, and will be able to ask questions in writing via a web page set up to host the session.

Online registration is required to take part in the webinar. To register, go to https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5512273302890642690.

The NRC also will hold a public meeting in Hershey on July 23 to discuss and accept comments on Exelon’s Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report for Three Mile Island Unit 1.

The meeting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel at 4650 Lindle Road. No advance registration is needed, NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan told the Press & Journal.

The post-shutdown report calls for placing Unit 1 into long-term storage before dismantlement and decontamination work takes place. A copy of the report can be found on the NRC website.

Full-time employees at Unit 1 would be reduced from the current 675 to 300 shortly after Sept. 30, following used fuel being moved to the spent fuel pool, according to the decommissioning report Exelon has filed with the NRC.

Full-time staffing would be down to 200 by 2021 and down to about 50 in 2022, according to the report.

The decommissioning plan calls for moving fuel to dry cask storage in 2022, where Exelon said it would be “protected in a hardened facility with multiple layers of structural, human and electronic security.” However, it would not be until 2074 that large components such as the cooling towers are dismantled, Exelon said.

This is to allow “additional time for normal radioactive decay,” resulting in “less waste and lower radiation exposure” and a “safer environment” for the workforce that will handle the decommissioning at that time, Exelon said.

The year 2074 is 100 years after the plant first opened.

The adjacent TMI Unit 2 did not return to service after the March 1979 accident. Unit 2 has a different owner and a Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report for Unit 2 was submitted to the NRC in June 2013.