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The dangerous business of dismantling America?s aging nuclear plants

the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station
The Washington Post
Holtec International
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Atomic Energy Commission
the U.S. Energy Information Association
Yucca Mountain
Oyster Creek’s
White House
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
TriArtisan Capital Advisors
P.F. Chang’s
TGI Fridays
Clean Water Action
the Energy Department
the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Joseph Delmar
Edward J. Markey
Christopher T. Hanson
Donald Trump
Jeff Baran
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Julia Moriarty
Kris Singh
Gregory Jaczko
Barack Obama
Joy Russell
Krishna P. Singh
Janet Tauro
Hector Balderas

New Mexicans

Lake Michigan
Cape Cod Bay
Permian Basin
Three Mile Island


New Jersey
Oyster Creek
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the United States
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Positivity     35.00%   
   Negativity   65.00%
The New York Times
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Another worker drove an excavator into an electrical wire on his first day on the job, knocking out power to 31,000 homes and businesses on the New Jersey coast, according to a police report and the local power company.All three incidents occurred on the watch of Holtec International, a nuclear equipment manufacturer based in Jupiter, Fla. Though the company until recently had little experience shutting down nuclear plants, Holtec has emerged as a leader in nuclear cleanup, a burgeoning field riding an expected wave of closures as licenses expire for the nation’s aging nuclear fleet.Over the past three years, Holtec has purchased three plants in three states and expects to finalize a fourth this summer. The recent incidents “are not reflective of the organization’s culture,” he said, adding that the worker who knocked down the power line “did not follow the proper safety protocols.” Delmar said the company has decades of experience building equipment to store nuclear waste and employs veteran plant workers to dismantle reactor sites.“While the decommissioning organization may seem new, the professionals staffing the company are experienced nuclear professionals with intimate knowledge of the plants they work at,” Delmar said in an emailed statement.Analysis: Who's afraid of nuclear power?Holtec is, however, pioneering an experimental new business model. A plan to build a national waste repository in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain stalled amid decades of political gridlock, leaving these towns saddled indefinitely with the threat of an accidental release or terrorist attack.Holtec is approaching those communities with an offer to clean up the mess.Founded and wholly owned by Kris Singh, an inventor and entrepreneur, Holtec says it is pioneering a new model of “accelerated decommissioning.” At the 24 U.S. reactors currently undergoing decommissioning, over half are expected to take two decades or more to complete the process, NRC data shows; Holtec pledges to return nuclear sites to safe, clean usable land in as few as eight years.Singh did not respond to requests for comment, and Holtec did not make him available for an interview.The company’s work at Oyster Creek, its first plant, was meant to be a blueprint for the national expansion, Holtec executives said in interviews with The Post in early 2020. The manager said in a letter to the NRC that he made mistakes on the company’s inspections report because he had been “overwhelmed” following staff cuts, though he denied that anything was intentionally falsified.“I went from a staff of six to a staff of two, all having extra responsibilities, doubling our workload and learning new criteria of the positions,” the manager said in the letter, which was posted on the NRC’s website.In a settlement with the NRC announced this year, Holtec agreed to pay a $50,000 civil penalty, hire a new corporate security director and conduct external security assessments.Delmar, the Holtec spokesman, said the “roots” of some safety incidents “go back to when the plant was operating and under previous ownership,” but declined to elaborate. Singh later apologized and said his comments were taken out of context.The NRC has given Holtec permission to pare back safety and security requirements at its plants, including security personnel, cybersecurity, emergency planning, terrorist attack drills and accident insurance, according to documents on the agency’s website. In staff reports, the NRC has said severe accidents can result from mishandling spent fuel rods and that sites storing nuclear waste remain vulnerable to sabotage.When Holtec announced its deal to acquire Oyster Creek, some local residents were uneasy about the plant becoming a test case for Holtec’s corporate expansion, said Janet Tauro, an environmental activist who lives 20 minutes north of the plant.“When you are dealing with highly radioactive nuclear fuel and taking apart a nuclear power plant, you have to be infallible — there is no room for mistakes,” said Tauro, the New Jersey board chair of the nonprofit group Clean Water Action.For 50 years, the plant’s towering gray chimney had been one of the area’s most distinctive physical landmarks. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned the NRC last year that having no dedicated personnel or equipment in neighboring communities “could have unfortunate consequences.”Holtec’s Delmar said its exemptions at Oyster Creek “are consistent with other decommissioning sites” and “reflect the reduction in risk at each of the key points in the decommissioning process.”Last summer, Holtec finished moving all of Oyster Creek’s spent fuel rods from cooling pools into dry storage containers in just 32 months — a “world record,” the company said in a news release.

As said here by Douglas MacMillan