Eight years almost to the day since the Kewaunee Power Station nuclear plant shut down, a new company has stepped in to complete the decommissioning process.
EnergySolutions has agreed to acquire the plant from Dominion Energy, the company announced Wednesday.
"We appreciate the confidence Dominion Energy has in our company by entering into this contract," EnergySolutions president and CEO Ken Robuck said in a news release. "This project will fit nicely within our decommissioning project portfolio and we are looking forward to applying our industry leading decommissioning and waste management experience to this project."
EnergySolutions' agreement includes dismantling the facility and removing radioactive waste. After shutting down the facility in 2013, Dominion completed transferring the used nuclear fuel to an onsite dry storage facility in 2017. EnergySolutions declined to answer FOX 11's question about where it plans to take the waste, saying more information would be released after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves the license transfer.
The decommissioning process is expected to being next year and take 8-10 years, which is far earlier than the deadline of 2073. County economic development officials expect EnergrySolutions to spend about $85 million per year and employ as many as 200 people on site.
"Moving into prompt decommissioning will provide a positive economic impact to the township of Carlton as well as Kewaunee County by creating jobs within the local community and provide opportunities for local vendors and subcontractors," Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation executive director Ben Nelson said.
Plans for the eventual redevelopment of the site have not been announced.
EnergySolutions' other decommissioning projects include the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor, Three Mile Island Unit-2 in Pennsylvania, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California and the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant in Nebraska.
Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt has issued this statement:
I look forward to working with EnergySolutions as they complete the decommissioning process. Dominion Energy has been a strong and committed community partner in Kewaunee County. We are thankful for that relationship and we look forward to our new partnership with EnergySolutions. Because EnergySolutions is the leading radioactive waste disposal company in the Country, the process is expected to be completed in 10 years, not the 50 years originally projected. This provides Kewaunee County with the opportunity to redevelop the property more quickly.