Shutdown not affecting CR3 yet

-A A +A
By Pat Faherty

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the Crystal River area nuclear plant, could stay open another week despite the federal government shutdown.

“For now we have carryover funds from the previous fiscal year that could last about a week if the situation is not resolved,” said NRC spokesperson Neil Sheehan. “But, resident inspectors and our emergency response team will remain on the job.”

It was not immediately clear how long of a shutdown it would take to affect decommissioning activities at the Crystal River plant, known as CR3.

Sheehan said it would affect CR3 in terms of a review of some things the company has planned. Plant owner Duke Energy is expected to submit a substantial nuclear reactor shutdown report by the end of this year.

In an Aug. 29 meeting with the NRC on the decommissioning status of  CR3, Duke Energy said it had put its Decommissioning Transitioning Organization in place in June with an initial staffing level at about 50 percent of operating level. The staff size is expected to be reduced to “dormancy levels” in 2015.

Duke also explained the status of its decommissioning activities to date and plans to submit an emergency plan, technical specifications, a security plan and its proposed schedule, which assumes one-year reviews.

“The federal government shutdown is currently not affecting our decommissioning plans,” Duke Energy spokesperson Heather Danenhower said. “But, we cannot speculate on how a longer-term governmental shutdown will affect NRC reviews of our decommissioning submittals.”

The NRC has notified Duke and other affected utilities about the protocol it will follow in the event of an extended government

Contact Chronicle reporter Pat Faherty at 352-564-2924 or pfaherty@chronicleonline.com.