Vermont Yankee nuclear plant’s dangerous radioactive wastes

Vermont, New York regulators urge review of storage of spent nuclear fuel, VT Digger, by Andrew Stein | January 3, 2013  ”……Vermont Yankee has 1,507 fuel rod assemblies submerged in a spent fuel pool, which was originally designed to hold about 350. Spent fuel rods must be kept under water in order to prevent the Zirconium cladding (the metal tubes that contain the fuel pellets) from igniting. The rods can remain hot for several years.

Vermont Yankee’s spent fuel pool, located in a metal warehouse structure, has more than five full reactor cores worth of radioactive material. In the event of an accident, the impact would be five times greater than a single reactor meltdown.

The dry cask storage containers on the site are hundreds of times safer than the spent fuel pool, Shadis said.

At this point, the site has 13 loaded casks, four of which were filled last year, according to Neil Sheehan, NRC public affairs officer for Region 1.

Each cask, which can hold 72 assemblies, costs $1 million. It would cost roughly $11 million to move all of the assemblies into dry cask storage…….

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