Senators oppose changes to nuclear plant emergency regulations via

CARLTON — Dominion Resources Inc., owner of Kewaunee Power Station, wants to reduce the level of emergency response at the closed nuclear plant, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved at other reactors being decommissioned.

But five U.S. senators are challenging the NRC’s approval of such requests. In a letter to the commission on Friday, they pointed out that the NRC granted exemptions for each of the 10 requests made. Their concern is for spent nuclear fuel, which can be stored in water pools or dry casks.

Kewaunee spokesman Mark Kanz said Dominion requested exemptions for evacuation zones and siren alerts.
Dominion shut down Kewaunee Power Station for decommissioning one year ago Wednesday. The fuel in the reactors was removed to the spent fuel pool within the week. The fuel rods in the pool, which is inside the plant, are scheduled to be placed in dry-cask storage outside the reactor building in 2016.
They said exemptions are under review for four nuclear plants, including Kewaunee, Crystal River in Florida, San Onofre in California and Vermont Yankee in Vermont. They cited both the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear accident and the potential for terrorist attacks as reasons for refusing the exemptions.

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