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Table: Waste Generated via Relicensing

October 20, 2004

Marks the Spot: Table: Waste Generated via Relicensing

The 20-year license extension at the Dresden nuclear plant guarantees thousands more metric tons of lethal nuclear waste and prolonged on-site storage.

Source: EWG Action Fund analysis of the DOE Yucca EIS, Appendix A. "Currently on-site" is calculated by taking DOE's figure for actual waste on-site in 1995 and adding the amount of waste DOE reports will be generated by each reactor between 1996 and 2011. "Current license waste generated" is calculated by taking each plant's actual waste on-site in 1995 and adding the following product: the plant's yearly rate of waste generation from 1996 to 2011, as reported by DOE, multiplied by the the number of years the plant will operate past 1995 under its current license. "License extension waste generated" adds "current license waste generated" to the product of waste generated per year and the number of years for which the plant has been, or will be, relicensed.

The Dresden Nuclear Reactor/Dump Site is located on 953 acres in Grundy County, Illinois. The site contains two reactors (DOE U.S. Reactors 2004). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Dresden currently has an estimated 1,889 metric tons of nuclear waste on site and is generating nuclear waste at a rate of 37 metric tons per year (DOE Yucca EIS Table A-7).

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is currently considering Dresden's request for new licenses that would extend the lives of the plant's reactors for an extra 20 years. The reactors, which have licenses set to expire in 2009 and 2011, respectively, could obtain licenses to operate until 2029 and 2031, respectively. If the licenses are approved, they will be issued on November 1, 2004 (NRC Relicensing 2004).

During the 20-year relicense period, the reactors would generate an additional 737 metric tons of nuclear waste combined. Under current law, Yucca Mountain, the nation's designated nuclear waste repository, will be able to accept only 55 of the 737 metric tons (DOE Yucca EIS Table A-7, USCS 2004).

Current and future waste from Dresden could be placed directly on rail cars for transport to Yucca Mountain. Rail is the Department of Energy's preferred means of transporting nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain (DOE Rail Decision 2004). Rail is thought to be safer because rail cars can carry heavier casks with thicker protective shielding.

Map of the Dresden Nuclear Reactor/Dump Site

Nuclear waste routes as selected by the Dept. of Energy for its analysis of the proposed nuclear dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.



Constellation Energy (Constellation Energy). 2004. Power Generation, Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. Accessed online October 6, 2004 at http://www.constellation.com/generation/ccnpp.asp.

Duke Power (Duke Power). 2004. Catawba Nuclear Station Sets Company Record. September 13, 2004. Accessed online October 6, 2004 at http://www.duke-energy.com/news/releases/2004/sep/2004091301.asp.

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG). 2004. Our Family of Companies, The Peach Bottom Atomic Energy Station. Accessed online October 6, 2004 at http://www.pseg.com/companies/nuclear/peachbottom.html.

U.S. Code Service (USCS 2004). 42 USCS ¤ 10134(d) 2004.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE Reactor Finder). 2004. Map of the United States Showing Locations of Operating Nuclear Power Reactors. Accessed online October 7, 2004 at http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactor/.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE U.S. Reactors). 2004. U.S. Nuclear Reactors, Turkey Point. Accessed online October 5, 2004 at http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/page/at_a_glance/reactors/states.html.

U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC Relicensing 2004). Accessed online October 5, 2004 at http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal/applications.html.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE Yucca EIS Table A-7). 2002. Final Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, Appendix A, Table A-7. February 2002.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE Rail Decision). 2004. Record of Decision on Mode of Transportation and Nevada Rail Corridor for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, NV. 69 F.R. 18557 (Apr. 8, 2004).