NRC approves Crystal River licence transfer

02 April 2020

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the transfer of the licence for Crystal River 3 from Duke Energy Florida to Accelerated Decommissioning Partners LLC subsidiary ADP CR3. The transfer will enable ADP CR3 to carry out active decommissioning of the former nuclear power plant.

Crystal River (Image: Duke Energy)

Duke applied for the licence transfer last June after deciding to pursue accelerated decommissioning of the single-unit pressurised water reactor plant and contracting with Accelerated Decommissioning Partners - a joint venture between NorthStar Group Services and Orano USA - to undertake the work. The plant, which was permanently shut down in 2013, had originally been slated for decommissioning using the so-called Safstor method of deferred dismantling, which would have taken some 50 years to complete. ADP CR3 plans to complete decommissioning by 2027.

Under its agreement with ADP CR3, Duke will remain the owner of the nuclear power plant, property and equipment, and will retain ownership and control of the trust fund that pays for the decommissioning, NRC said. ADP CR3 will become the NRC licensee responsible for decommissioning the plant in compliance with all state and federal regulations. NorthStar will also be contracted to demolish two permanently shut-down coal-fired units at the Florida site.

Crystal River 3 began commercial operation in 1977, but the plant never returned to service after complications concerning the reactor's containment structure following steam generator replacement work in 2009. All the plant's used fuel has now been transferred to an on-site Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, an operation that was completed in January 2018.

The Accelerated Decommissioning Partners joint venture was established in 2017 by Areva Nuclear Materials - now Orano USA - and NorthStar to acquire and decommission shut-down US nuclear reactors.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News