Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel

Public Comments

DateApril 20, 2022
Decommissioning TopicSpent Fuel Storage
Comment / Suggestion:

1. We need a better explanation of the comparative risks of keeping the spent fuel in the pools compared with getting it out earlier into dry storage. My understanding is that dry cask storage is much safer than pool storage, even for fuels of equal heat content? There are other advantages to expedited spent fuel transfer such as cost savings, faster decommissioning, earlier repurposing, etc, but safety is the highest priority. Overall, I am glad to hear technology has improved and fuel can be removed from the pools sooner.

2. A better understanding of the upgraded seismic adjustments would be helpful. Why aren't the canisters anchored to the pad and only to one another? What is the risk of a landslide occurring on the mountain in back of the SNF storage pads and blocking the vent ducts? From the photos the mountain in back looks ominous. Are there any models of a realistic worst case scenario earthquake - what is safer- the spent fuel pools or dry storage?

3. What are the changes to the SNF canisters that enable them to withstand greater heat? If the metal has changed, is the new metal more susceptible to stress corrosion cracking? Are there any trade offs? Do we know how the new metals age over time compared to the old?

4. Is it possible to have the Independent Safety Committee do an evaluation of the new system and give input to the Panel and community? This would be reassuring. It might also be helpful to hear feedback from the UCLA Independent Risk Assessment Program and the California Energy Commission on the new system.

5. Will some Diablo Canyon employees be trained in new system of cask transfer? They mentioned a 6 week specialized training program for Orano employees that will be operating the system. If Diablo Canyon employees will be providing oversight of the system, hopefully they will be trained too.

6. I was glad to hear Orano is expected to develop Interim SNF storage sites. Hopefully that can be an interim solution down the line. It doesn't make sense to keep SNF in a seismic coastal zone long term with sea level's expected to rise.

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