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Message Subject *** Fukushima *** and other nuclear-----updates and links
Poster Handle Waterbug
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Analyst: Entergy's Vermont Yankee, FitzPatrick nukes at risk for retirement
[link to www2.snl.com]


Despite the economic problems that might arise from keeping some merchant plants running, there are also significant costs that come with closing a nuclear plant. "It's not like you can just put a padlock on the fence and walk away," Patterson said. "These are complicated sites containing radioactive material that have to be monitored."

But there is a way to spread out the costs of decommissioning a plant over a longer period of time, which could make retirement more financially palatable. The NRC requires that once a plant ceases operating, it must be decommissioned within 60 years using one of three methods.

One of these methods, known as SAFSTOR, involves maintaining the facility for years while allowing radioactive material to decay, and only then dismantling the site. It is in contrast to DECON, a method in which the plant is essentially immediately dismantled. Some utilities, such as Entergy, have said they would prefer SAFSTOR when decommissioning certain plants.

The third method, known as ENTOMB, involves encasing radioactive contaminants in structures such as concrete, but this method has never been requested by any NRC-licensed facility.
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