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Dry Fuel Storage Facility
Frequently Asked Questions

     As part of Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company's mission to safely store its spent nuclear fuel and complete decommissioning, it is transferring its fuel from a storage pool to a dry storage facility. The dry storage facility consists of 43 concrete and steel storage casks placed on a fenced concrete pad on CY property.  The pad stores only CY fuel. This fact sheet summarizes the most frequently asked questions about CY's fuel storage plan. 

What is a Dry Fuel Storage Facility?

    
A dry fuel storage facility is temporary storage for spent nuclear fuel.  There are 14 dry fuel storage facilities with 196 casks in service at other commercial U.S. nuclear facilities with 12 more facilities expected to be in service by 2003.

Will CY bring other plants' fuel to this site?

    
No.  CY will only store CY fuel on this site.  The dry fuel storage facility that CY is building is only large enough for CY material.

How long will the dry casks be stored at Connecticut Yankee?

     The dry casks will be stored at Connecticut Yankee until the Department of Energy (DOE) removes the fuel now scheduled to begin in 2010. The Nuclear Waste Act of 1982 requires that the DOE provide a central disposal facility for fuel from the nation's 110 nuclear plants.  The DOE is currently evaluating Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the site for a permanent repository. If the DOE starts on schedule in 2010, the schedule for completion of the removal is 2023.

Where does Connecticut Yankee plan to store the casks?

     The dry fuel storage facility will be centrally located on CY property, about mile from the Haddam Neck Plant site.  The storage facility will not be visible from either the Salmon or Connecticut Rivers nor will it be visible to abutting neighbors. The pad location is surrounded by ridges and trees.

What are the physical dimensions of the storage facility?

     The storage pad is approximately the size of a hockey rink and is surrounded by security fencing.

Did CY consider the potential for earthquakes when designing the storage facility?

     Yes.  In addition to evaluating the regional geological conditions, soil borings were taken at the site.  Because the site is in an area of low to moderate seismic activity, a seismic analysis was performed and the results were incorporated into the design of the facility to make sure the spent fuel remains safely stored in the event of an earthquake.  The storage system and pad are designed to withstand an earthquake that might occur during the storage period.

What would happen in an earthquake?

     Both the storage pad and the fuel storage system would remain intact.

What about fires, tornados, floods, or sabotage?

     Both the storage pad and the storage containers are designed to withstand these events and are required to meet strict design standards regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

What security measures will be taken?

     The facility will be continuously monitored by specially trained security personnel.  Observational capability will be provided by security on patrol and closed circuit television.  The facility will be equipped with intrusion detection systems.

How often will the casks be checked?

     In addition to round-the-clock security, Health Physics personnel will perform routine radiation surveys of the facility.  The facility will also have installed measurement devices. Site personnel will perform grounds maintenance and specified storage cask inspections.  Procedures and frequencies will be in accordance with regulations and good health and safety practices.

What back-up measures is Connecticut Yankee taking should a problem arise with the dry storage containers?

     The robust design of the containers is such that a problem is considered extremely unlikely. However, if a problem would occur or was suspected, since the canisters have thick shielding, Connecticut Yankee would be able to perform most repairs or inspections without moving the concrete storage cask.  If a problem arises that CY could not repair, the canister would likely be transferred into a shipping cask for shipment to a government facility.

 How will the facility affect the environment?  Isn't this spreading contamination?

     Placing the sealed canisters in concrete casks and moving them to the storage pad will not spread contamination or harm the environment. Each canister is seal welded shut and cleaned prior to placing it inside the concrete cask. Some clearing of trees and movement of soils will be needed to build the storage pad.  Standard construction practices related to environmental protection will be taken including, storm water control, wetlands, and lighting. The storage pad, fence and monitoring facility will be removed after the fuel is taken by the Department of Energy.

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