The Office of Nuclear Regulation in Britain has granted approval for EDF Energy to begin using a $250 million dry storage facility for spent fuel at the Sizewell B nuclear power station on the Suffolk Coast in eastern Britain.
EDF had submitted an application for the dry storage unit in October. However, the company said previously it was running out of room in the currently operating cooling pools.
EDF started planning for the dry storage facility in 2011, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation. However, the company also estimated that it would run out of room in the spent fuel cooling pools in 2015. However, adjustments were made to accommodate more spent fuel within the wet storage system, allowing EDF to sidestep a problem that could have gotten to the point that generation at the plant would need to be suspended.
The new storage facility is about the size of a soccer field and is expected to accommodate all the spent fuel created at Sizewell B throughout a 60-year operational lifespan. Similar to the United States, however, the next step involves long-term storage, although no current facility exists in Britain. Plans for long-term underground storage are in development. However, a final storage site for the spent fuel that will be toxic for thousands of years has not been named.
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