Accelerated decommissioningOn Oct. 1, 2020, Duke Energy and Accelerated Decommissioning Partners successfully completed a transaction to start decontamination and dismantlement of the Crystal River Nuclear Plant in Citrus County, Fla., in 2020 instead of 2067 – nearly 50 years sooner than originally planned.
Decommissioning a nuclear plant is a safe and well-defined process with oversight by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The process involves removing, packaging and shipping radioactive materials, such as the reactor vessel, to an off-site licensed disposal facility and then demolishing buildings.
Approval processDuke Energy closed the transaction with Accelerated Decommissioning Partners after completing a multiyear analysis of decommissioning options and a 14-month rigorous regulatory approval process.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of the nuclear plant's license from Duke Energy to Accelerated Decommissioning Partners on April 1, 2020, and the Florida Public Service Commission unanimously approved the transaction on Aug. 18, 2020.
Contract termsUnder the contract reached in May 2019, Duke Energy remains the Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed owner of the nuclear plant, property and equipment (except the dry cask storage facility assets) and retains ownership and control of the trust fund that pays for the decommissioning.
Duke Energy will also continue to have access to the site and will pay Accelerated Decommissioning Partners only for work completed.
Accelerated Decommissioning Partners became the Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed operator responsible for decommissioning the plant in compliance with all state and federal regulations.
Accelerated Decommissioning Partners also became responsible for operating and maintaining the on-site dry cask storage facility and owns the dry cask storage system assets, including the used nuclear fuel assemblies.
BenefitsPerforming decontamination and dismantlement activities 2020-2027 instead of waiting until 2067, as originally planned, aligns with Accelerated Decommissioning Partners' business model and benefits Duke Energy's customers in Florida.
Duke Energy's fixed-price contract with Accelerated Decommissioning Partners locks in today's prices, has no impact on customer bills, provides customers financial protection and transfers cost and schedule risks to Accelerated Decommissioning Partners.
The Citrus County community will not notice any difference in operations at the 5,100-acre Crystal River Energy Complex located on Florida's Gulf Coast about 85 miles north of Tampa.
The complex will remain a Duke Energy industrial facility for decades to come. Financial contributions and volunteerism will also continue through Duke Energy's various Foundation, sponsorship and employee-giving programs.
Accelerating the decommissioning of the nuclear plant allows for faster redevelopment of the plant's property for Duke Energy's eventual reuse. Though Duke Energy has not determined how it might repurpose the property, the company has no plans to sell it.
Next stepsBetween 2021 and 2026, Accelerated Decommissioning Partners will remove, package and ship shielded radioactive components, such as the reactor vessel, to an off-site licensed disposal facility and then demolish the nuclear plant's buildings.
When decontamination and dismantlement work is completed in 2027, only the dry cask storage facility that sits on less than 2 acres and houses used nuclear fuel assemblies will remain.
Accelerated Decommissioning Partners will continue 24-hour security, emergency response and radiological and environmental monitoring programs at the nuclear plant during and after the decommissioning process in compliance with state and federal requirements.
Accelerated Decommissioning PartnersAccelerated Decommissioning Partners is a joint venture formed in 2017 between NorthStar Group Services and Orano USA. The company provides a turnkey solution that completes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission license termination process for a fixed price on a guaranteed schedule.
NorthStar Group Services is the largest demolition company in the world and owns and operates one of the most technically advanced demolition fleets of equipment in the U.S. NorthStar purchased the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in 2019 and is currently decommissioning it with support from Orano USA.
Orano USA is a major nuclear supplier of materials and services with in-house capabilities and decades of experience in used nuclear fuel management and dismantling, packaging and transporting radioactive materials. The company has the most advanced reactor vessel segmentation specialty tools and equipment in the industry.
Orano also manufactured the Crystal River Nuclear Plant's on-site NUHOMS® dry cask storage facility, successfully transferring used nuclear fuel assemblies from the plant's fuel storage pool to that facility in 2018.