NRC Meets with Nuclear Plant Owners

Sep 24, 2012

Senior management from FirstEnergy Operating Co. (FENOC) will sit down with officials from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NEC) Wednesday to discuss the performance of the company’s three nuclear power plants.

FENOC currently operates three plants in Pennsylvania and Ohio including Beaver Valley in Shippingport.

Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan said they periodically meet with companies running nuclear power plants to discuss issues such as expectations of performance and the commission’s activities at the plants.

Sheehan said one of the topics will be the company’s plans for spent fuel storage.

“The Beaver Valley plant is moving ahead with plans for what’s known as a dry cask storage facility for spent nuclear fuel,” said Sheehan. “And certainly the company would probably give us some details on that.”

According to the NRC, dry cask storage “allows spent fuel that has already been cooled in the spent fuel pool for at least one year to be surrounded by inert gas inside a container called a cask. The casks are typically steel cylinders that are either welded or bolted closed.”

Sheehan said the public is invited to the meeting and will be permitted to ask questions at the end.

“We’re doing the public’s business, talking about our oversight of these plants,” said Sheehan. “We would certainly invite the public to be on hand and head what we have to say to the company.”

He said, after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, people have more questions about nuclear power with many asking about plants’ ability to handle natural disasters and prepare for emergencies.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Quail Hollow Resort in Painesville, Ohio.