January 11th, 2007 11:05 EST
Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved Consumers Energy's request
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved Consumers Energy`s request to release a majority of the Big Rock Point nuclear power plant site near Charlevoix, Mich., for unrestricted public use.
The land, approximately 435 acres, is below NRC regulatory requirements that allow a maximum radiation dose of 25 millirem per year from residual contamination. (The average person in the United States receives about 300 millirem from background radiation each year.) Release of this land for unrestricted use poses no threat to public health and safety.
Big Rock Point`s licenses will still apply to the site`s dry cask storage facility, where the spent nuclear fuel from the plant`s 35 years of operation is stored, plus a parcel of land surrounding this facility. The total land remaining under the licenses is approximately 107 acres. Consumer`s Energy remains responsible for the security and protection of this land and the dry cask storage facility, and is required to maintain $44.4 million in nuclear liability insurance coverage for the facility.
Big Rock Point began commercial operations March 29, 1963, and ceased production Aug. 29, 1997. Consumers Energy initiated decommissioning shortly thereafter. Dismantlement and decommissioning were completed in August 2006. NRC surveys verified that cleanup met the 25 millirem per year requirement.
The NRC`s Safety Evaluation Report of Big Rock Point`s amendment request will be available in the agency`s online documents database, ADAMS, at this address: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams/web-based.html, using accession number ML063410368 in the search field.
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