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New plan for storing spent Kewaunee nuclear plant fuel

The owner of the Kewaunee nuclear power plant has a plan to speed up the removal of spent nuclear fuel: one that hopefully meets the concerns of the local community.

KEWAUNEE, Wis, (WFRV) The owner of the Kewaunee nuclear power plant has a plan to speed up the removal of spent nuclear fuel: one that hopefully meets the concerns of the local community.

The nuclear power plant has been out of service over a year. Yet inside the facility in large storage pools - sit radioactive fuel rods - cooling until ready for removal and long-term storage.

That process involves removing the fuel from the pool and placing it in concrete casks. Initially that task was to be accomplished by 2020. However since shutting down local residents have been urging the owner, Dominion Resources, to do what it can to speed up the 60 year decommissioning process.

Now Dominion says it has hired a company, which will remove and encase the spent fuel by the end of 2016.

"This is something the community has been encouraging us to take a look at - so we want them to know we are hearing them," said Dominion spokesman, Mark Kanz. "We want to try to do what we can.  This is just one step in that direction and also opens the door to potentially do it for other pieces of the project as well."

The spent fuel will be encased in concrete casks, which will be placed in storage on the facility grounds.

They will remain there until the federal government develops a long-term plan for disposing of the spent fuel.

Kewaunee County officials want the plant's shutdown accelerated, saying the longer it takes - it more it hurts economic redevelopment of the area.

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