The Crystal River nuclear power plant, offline since 2009, will be “placed in a safe, stable condition” until decommissioning work is completed in 2074, according to a plan Duke Energy submitted Tuesday to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
According to the plan, Duke Energy will retain about 275 employees – members of the facility’s decommissioning transition team – on site, in addition to security personnel.
Duke Energy officials said the company will absorb the estimated decommissioning cost of $1.18 billion.
“Decommissioning the Crystal River nuclear plant will be a well-defined process, with significant NRC oversight,” said Duke Energy’s Terry Hobbs, who is overseeing the decommissioning effort. “Nuclear safety will remain Duke Energy’s top priority. The plant will remain in a safe, stable condition, and our comprehensive emergency plan and 24/7 security force will remain in place.”
The plant’s used nuclear fuel will remain in the existing on-site fuel pool until a new storage facility is built, and workers will ensure safety and environmental protection during the entire decommissioning process, according to a news release.
The NRC said a public hearing will be held early in 2014 in Citrus County to discuss the plan and oversight.
The reactor, which opened in 1977, went offline in late 2009 when its concrete containment building cracked during a maintenance and upgrade project.