Holtec International has unveiled the schedule for its proposed consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for used nuclear fuel, with start-up slated for 2020. Holtec sees the facility, to be built in south-eastern New Mexico, as the only solution being put forward to deal with the USA’s 70,000 tonnes of used nuclear fuel that is currently located in 35 states and at about 70 sites.

In April, Holtec and Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance (ELEA) announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement covering the design, licensing, construction and operation of the facility that is to be modelled on Holtec’s HI-STORM UMAX dry storage system. ELEA will provide the land and local logistics support, including existing environmental characterization data.

In a webinar organized by Nuclear Energy Insider yesterday, Holtec International senior vice president and chief nuclear officer Pierre Oneid said the company would submit its letter of intent for the project to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) next month.

Holtec will request that NRC’s used fuel management office opens a Part 72 docket which, Oneid said, “will serve as a letter of intent that will make its way to NRC in August”. Part 72 refers to licensing requirements for the independent storage of used nuclear fuel, high-level radioactive waste, and reactor-related greater than Class C waste.

That will mean a pre-application meeting with NRC can be expected by December and an application submittal to the agency by June 2016, Oneid said. “We expect, based on past experience and on our discussions with NRC, that it is reasonable to put a date like October 2018 for the safety evaluation report,” he added.

The licence might then be issued in January 2019, with the first phase of construction starting in April 2019. Operation of the facility could then begin a year later.

30 July 2015 – World Nuclear News – as posted at http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-Holtec-to-start-regulatory-process-for-New-Mexico-used-fuel-store-soon-30071501.html