NRC Moving Forward On Interim Storage Licencing

A review of Hotec International’s proposed interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, slated for New Mexico, could be completed by mid-summer of 2020, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said

Holtec StorageIn early March, Power news reported that the review process for the facility move into the “docketed” stage at the NRC, meaning it the application for the facility had been judged as complete and the actual review of the application could begin.

Holtec submitted its application for the facility in March 2017. It is expected that the regulator could begin calling for additional information this month, a step that could be completed in August. Additional rounds of addendum to the application could be expected to begin in February 2019 with completion expected by July 2020.

The process could be accelerated based on the company's promptness at responding to calls for additional information.

The plan calls for underground storage using a HI-STORM UMAX technology, which has already been approved for use at nuclear plants around the country. The planned facility would have a storage capacity of 10,000 casks, while the limit on spent fuel would be close to 8,680 metric tons, based on the application that limits the facility to 500 “storage cavities,” Power reported.

Hotec, however, has said that it had plans to expand its license to allow for different canister types with the aim of allowing the facility to accept fuel “from every nuclear plant site in the United States.”

Holtec's rival for the spent fuel storage business, Waste Control Specialists, have backed away from their plans to apply for an application for an interim spent fuel storage facility slated for Andrews, Texas, citing the high costs of the licensing process.

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