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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

State approves request to expand the amount of nuclear waste stored 20 miles west of Charlestown

Millstone Nuclear Power Plant gets green light to add more casks for storing spent nuclear fuel. 
By Will Collette

The Connecticut Siting Council acted a few days early, granting its tentative approval to Virginia-based Dominion Energy to vastly expand its nuclear waste storage at its Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in Waterford, CT, just outside New London.

The Council will make it official at its May 2 meeting, but the commissioners have voted 7 to 0, with two abstentions, to grant approval.

The two abstaining members are both alternates; the members they stood in for are expected to also vote “yes” when the formal vote is taken on May 2.

The Council will allow Millstone to increase the number of dry cask storage units it has on site from the current 19 to 135. They will hold roughly 3.6 million pounds of high level radioactive waste.

Generally, dry cask storage is considered to be much safer and more secure than the common practice of storing spent fuel rods in deep pools of water.

For more detail on Millstone, click here for my most recent analysis.

Since the federal government never came up with the promised permanent solution to nuclear waste storage, all of America’s operating and decommissioned nuclear power plants have become more or less permanent radioactive waste dumps.

There are no other practical alternatives for the handling of the radioactive waste that already has been produced. In my opinion, it is well past time that we stopped producing more.