NRC renews Prairie Island spent-fuel storage facility's license

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a 40-year license renewal for a Prairie Island dry-cask spent-fuel storage facility late last week.

The installation is located at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant in Red Wing, Minnesota. The facility is owned and operated by Northern States Power Co. The company must monitor the storage facility aging effects and take corrective action when needed. The NRC will perform regular inspections of the storage casks and components.

“Our decision to re-license Prairie Island’s dry-cask storage systems is based on our finding that they meet the NRC’s strict standards and will be able to store spent fuel safely over the extended period of the renewed license,” Anthony Hsia, acting director of the NRC’s Division of Spent Fuel Management, said. “Inspections by the licensee and the NRC going forward will ensure any effects from aging will be managed so they do not affect the casks’ ability to protect workers, the public and the environment.”

The NRC said this is the sixth facility of its kind to have its license renewed in the U.S. This new license allows the facility to operate through Oct. 31, 2053. The facility’s initial licensing period expired on Oct. 31, 2013, and has been operating under timely renewal processes as the re-licensing process was carried out.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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