BYRON - The Byron Nuclear Plant hosts an open house to detail plans to house fuel that's supposed to be stored in a federal facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
When construction on the plant began in 1975, it wasn't intended for long term spent fuel storage. One of the main reasons why the plant hosted the open house, and why people came, is to learn more about the plant's project to store used fuel. People at the open house visited with different stations to learn more about the plan to store spent fuel and then address their safety concerns. "The fact that it's radioactive is still a concern, but I'm hoping to learn at this next station here of how all of this concrete protects us from the radioactivity that's going to be there," said Kristi Quigley, who lives near the nuclear plant.
"This is the safe method that's approved by the government and we're following all the rules and regulations they would want us to," said Bob Kartheiser, the plant communications manager.
An outdoor storage cask will be used to transport spent fuel to a storage facility at the nuclear plant. The current fuel pool inside the plant will fill up in another year. "We need to find a storage place for this. We had planned to use a deep depository that the federal government is constructing for us, but until then we need to have an alternate means in place," said Kartheiser.
The federal storage facility was supposed to open in 1998, but delays pushed it back until 2020.