Originally published on Neutron Bytes.

  • After putting its proposal on hold in April 2017 due to financial concerns, Waste Control Specialists (WCS) announced in late March 2018 that it will resume licensing work at the NRC for a consolidated interim storage facility (CSF) for spent fuel at a site near Andrews, TX.
  • The firm also announced that it has formed a joint venture with Orano USA (a rebranded Areva Nuclear Materials). That company will bring to the project “decades of expertise in used fuel packaging, storage, and transportation” according to Scott State, CEO of WCS.
  • The objective of the CSF is to take spent fuel stored at nuclear reactors across the U.S. and hold it at the Andrews site until one or more permanent disposition strategies are developed by the nuclear industry and the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • The proposal for the CSF is to obtain an initial 40 year storage license for 40,000 metric ton of commercial spent nuclear fuel that is ready for, or already in, storage in dry casks. The project will be built in eight phases of 5,000 metric ton each. The facility will seek license extensions in 20-year increments.

Jeff Isakson, the president of the joint venture, said in an email statement, “As the proposed new license owner, the joint venture is responsible for application expenses. The strength of the joint venture’s partners ensures the commitment necessary to support the license and serve an expanding market. At this early point in the process, we don’t want to speculate about the licensing timeline or process.”

In a press statement Sam Shakir, CEO of Orano USA stated, “The joint venture will provide safety, flexibility and value for used nuclear fuel titleholders and reduce U.S. taxpayer liabilities for ongoing storage, while plans for a permanent federal repository continue. Currently, used nuclear fuel is stored at more than 70 active and decommissioned nuclear reactor facilities in 34 states across the country, awaiting the development of a permanent geologic repository.”

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