Holtec International said that it had successfully completed in record time the largest defueling project of a BWR plant in the United States at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station in Vernon, Vermont.
Holtec signed contracts with Entergy Nuclear "to expeditiously defuel the Vermont Yankee (VY) spent fuel pool," the company said. The project required construction of a second ISFSI pad, an expansion of security measures, plus engineering, licensing, manufacturing, delivery and loading of 45 HI-STORM cask systems "all on a turnkey basis."
From shut down in late December 2014 to defueling completion took three and a half years. Vermont Yankee's spent fuel pool has been completely defueled, "setting a new benchmark in the industry." Holtec boasted.
The last cask containing the remaining 39 spent fuel assemblies was safely placed on the ISFSI pad at 11:22PM (EST), August 1, 2018, well ahead of the project schedule. Overall, a total of 2,996 spent fuel assemblies were loaded into the dry storage canisters. The final ISFSI pad now contains a total of 58 HI-STORM systems of which 13 were loaded by Vermont Yankee operators, while the plant was still operating, and the remaining 45 casks were loaded after the plant shutdown.
Use of Holtec’s MPC-68M canister technology, featuring the Metamic-HTTM fuel basket, allowed for NRC’s approval of loading into dry storage canisters, spent fuel with as little as 2 years cooling time.
Holtec attributed success of this project to the collaborative effort between Entergy’s and Holtec’s teams led by Entergy’s Mr. Kenneth Swanger and Holtec’s Mr. Mike McNamara, respectively. "The team worked continuously without pausing during the harsh winter of Vermont and on average loaded one cask every week," Holtec said.
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