In the news:

NRC lacks authority to license private, away-from-reactor nuclear waste facility: 5th Circuit

Really? Yes…

Interim Storage Partners wants to have a private nuclear waste storage facility sited in Texas. They applied and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a license. But that licensing decision has been upended, and project proponents Interim Storage Partners‘ and Waste Control Specialists’ dreams are in limbo.

“Our” Xcel Energy is fervently hoping that it, or another private nuclear waste storage facility, will take all that nuclear waste that’s piling up in Minnesota and put Xcel Energy out of its nuclear waste conundrum misery. Dream on… how’s that working for ya, Xcel?

I’m reminded of another Xcel Energy (NSP) project: “Private Fuel Storage” and the attempt to site nuclear waste on the Goshute reservation in Utah, which was ultimately withdrawn by the applicants. Given this decision, it seems we may have missed a good argument on that project, but on the other hand, the NRC did not license it.

The essence of the challenge, after wading through the “standing” arguments, was that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission did not have authority to license a private operation.

The court agreed, and said:

And the conclusion?

Here’s the entire decision, for your edification and reading enjoyment:

In-person meeting tonight — MASK UP!


Xcel still has not disclosed what cask they plan to use. They also have said they don’t need a NRC license amendment, but the Xcel testimony in the rate case says otherwise. See p. 56-58:

Be there, or be square!

Nuclear Spent Fuel Storage

December 21st, 2020

In December, 1994, after the tumultuous legislative session from hell, and the resulting “1994 Prairie Island Bill, Ch. 641, SF 1706,” I noticed a sign up on the window of Kenyon City Hall, looking for someone to represent the City at a Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) group to “select a site for nuclear waste” somewhere “in Goodhue County,” away from the nuclear plant site. December 14, 1994 was the first meeting of the group, which met over I think 6 months, a most bizarre series of meetings, culminating in NSP’s selection of “Site P” in Florence Township as its preferred site. At that meeting, this truckdriver realized that the seals on the TN-40 casks needed to be replaced. When I asked about that, they had no plan. Oh my, that got my attention — it was clearly not a well thought out plan.

A few nuclear spent fuel documents floated up recently, and here they are:

NUREG-2224 Dry Storage and Transportation of High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel

In I think May, 1995, they started filling up casks and putting them on a pad at Prairie Island, and meanwhile, the NSP group’s meetings ended, the Environmental Quality Board formed an official Citizens Advisory Task Force on nuclear waste, with the task of reviewing the NSP application to the EQB for a site permit. The Task Force ended and issued this report:

At that time, I was spending a lot of time learning about casks, paying attention to anything that came up, with particular interest in whether casks could indeed be unloaded.

Trans Nuclear casks were used at Prairie Island, they’re also at Arkansas Nuclear 1, somewhere else to… Here’s a miscellaneous dock from TransNuclear (it has another name now):

Transnuclear Handouts – Part 3 of 6 – 10/07/09 Public Meeting

Around that time was the “Point Beach Ignition Event” where they left the zinc assembly in the boric acid solution in the cask overnight until the next shift came in, and then tried to weld it. Zinc + boric acid = hydrogen. BOOM! Clue: “Gas ignition event” = EXPLOSION! The cask lid bent up a few inches (it was 9″ thick!!), the wedges holding assembly basket in place blew out onto the floor…


And then there’s the 3 Stooges cask unloading at INEL, this is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S:

Putting this up for future reference – a permanent repository!!!


Thanks to Kelly Fuller for the heads up.  A 2.206 Petition has been filed about the unsafe conditions at the Ft. Calhoun and Cooper plant.  Note that the Petitions were from July, 2011, and it takes six months for it to rise up to the Federal Register.

Here it is:

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 15 (Tuesday, 
January 24, 2012)]
[Page 3515]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government 
Printing Office []
[FR Doc No: 2012-1370]

[[Page 3515]]


[Docket No. 50-285, License No. DPR-40; Docket No. 50-298, 
License No. DPR-46; NRC-2012-0014]

Request for Action Against Omaha Public Power District 
and Nebraska Public Power District

    Notice is hereby given that by petitions dated 
June 26 and July 3, 2011, respectively, Thomas Saporito 
(the petitioner) has requested that the U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) take 
escalated enforcement actions against Omaha Public 
Power District, the licensee for Fort Calhoun Station, 
Unit 1 (FCS), and Nebraska Public Power District, the 
licensee for Cooper Nuclear Station (Cooper). The 
petitions dated June 26 and July 3, 2011, are publicly 
available in the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) under Accession Nos. ML11182B029 
and ML11192A285, respectively.
    The petitioner has requested that the NRC take action
to suspend or revoke the NRC licenses granted for the 
operation of nuclear power reactors and issue a notice 
of violation with a proposed civil penalty against the 
collectively named and each singularly named licensee 
in this matter--in the amount of $500,000 for Fort 
Calhoun Station and $1,000,000 for Cooper. Additionally, 
the petitioner requested that the NRC issue confirmatory 
orders to prohibit restart at FCS and to bring Cooper to 
a ``cold shutdown'' mode of operation until such time as: 
(1) The floodwaters subside to an appreciable lower level 
or sea level; 
(2) the licensee upgrades its flood protection 
(3) the licensee repairs and enhances its current flood 
protection berms; and 
(4) the licensee upgrades its station blackout procedures 
to meet a challenging extended loss of offsite power due 
to floodwaters and other natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
    As the basis for these requests, the petitioner stated 
(1) The licensees' installed flood protection measures 
and systems and barriers at FCS and Cooper are not 
sufficient to adequately protect the nuclear reactor from
a full-meltdown scenario like that currently unfolding in 
Japan; and 
(2) the licensees' station blackout procedures are not 
sufficient to meet a challenging extended loss of offsite 
power due to flood waters and other natural disasters or 
terrorist attacks.
    The requests are being treated pursuant to Title 10 
of the Code of Federal Regulations Section 2.206 of the 
Commission's regulations. The requests have been referred 
to the Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. 
As provided by Section 2.206, appropriate action will be 
taken on these petitions within a reasonable time. The 
petitioner requested an opportunity to address the Petition 
Review Board (PRB). The PRB held a recorded teleconference 
with the petitioner on August 29, 2011, during which the 
petitioner supplemented and clarified the petitions. The 
results of those discussions were considered in the PRB's 
determination regarding the petitioner's requests. As a 
result, the PRB acknowledged the petitioner's concerns 
regarding flood protection, including station blackout 
procedures, at FCS and Cooper. By letter dated January 13, 
2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML120030022), the Director of the 
NRC's Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation denied the 
petitioner's requests for immediate action. Additionally, 
the PRB noted that: 
(1) Natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding, 
(2) station blackout regulations are undergoing NRC 
review as part of the lessons learned from the Fukushima 
event. The PRB intends to use the results of the Fukushima 
review to inform its final decision on whether to implement 
the requested
    Copies of the petitions dated June 26 and July 3, 2011, 
are available for inspection at the NRC's Public Document 
Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Public File 
Area O1F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland 20852. Publicly available documents created or 
received at the NRC are accessible electronically through 
ADAMS in the NRC Library at 
Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter 
problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS 
should contact the NRC's PDR Reference staff by 
telephone at 1-(800) 397-4209 or (301) 415-4737, or by 
email to

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of January 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Eric J. Leeds,
Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2012-1370 Filed 1-23-12; 8:45 am]