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Columbia's Westinghouse fuel plant's license is renewed

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has renewed the operating license for the Westinghouse Columbia Fuel Fabrication Facility in Hopkins. The renewed license authorizes the facility to continue operations through Sept. 12, 2062.

The Columbia facility produces nuclear fuel for use in commercial nuclear power reactors. The license was first issued by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1969 and was last renewed by the NRC in 2007.

The renewal follows completion of safety and environmental reviews by NRC staff. Their final environmental impact statement, published July 29, described “small” impacts on most resources and “small to moderate” impacts on groundwater and waste generation during decommissioning.

The final safety evaluation report was published July 29 and will be available through the NRC’s webpage on the Westinghouse facility.

The NRC safety review concluded Westinghouse’s programs are adequate to ensure safe operation of the facility for the license’s 40-year period. The staff did not identify safety risks or new processes or technologies that might introduce new safety concerns. Staff also considered the company’s safety performance and efforts to mitigate onsite contamination, with oversight by South Carolina, before renewing the license.

Reach Christina Lee Knauss at 803-753-4327.

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