Decommissioning Process

Decommissioning a nuclear plant is significantly different from other industries, but it is a safe and well-defined process with oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The first action completed when nuclear reactors are permanently shut down is to transfer all of the used nuclear fuel out of the reactor and its storage pool, and into dry storage. After completing this process, radiological risks to the public are significantly reduced. The accelerated decommissioning process involves removing, packaging, and shipping low-level radioactive materials, such as the reactor vessel, to an off-site licensed disposal facility and then demolishing the reactor building. Non-radiological buildings and structures can be demolished at any time as the project progresses. Twenty-four-hour security, emergency response, and radiological and environmental monitoring programs at the nuclear plant continue during and after the decontamination and dismantlement process is completed in compliance with state and federal requirements. Once all the buildings have been cleared from the site, the only remaining structure will be the dry storage facility with the used nuclear fuel, called the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, or ISFSI. The ISFSI will remain as a securely guarded facility until the used nuclear fuel can be removed to a national used fuel repository or a consolidated interim storage facility. At this time, neither a repository or a CISF is in operation.


Crystal River Nuclear Plant Virtual Tour