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Closed Kewaunee plant seeks safety exemptions

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)--The owner of Kewaunee Power Station wants an exemption to federal safety regulations because the company says the rules are outdated.

The current federal safety regulations for storing nuclear fuel were written for active plants only, said Kewaunee spokesperson Mark Kamz.

Because the Kewaunee nuclear plant shutdown—the company says it shouldn’t have to adhere to all these regulations.   

Dominion Resources Inc. shut down the plant last May, but There’s still more than 250 employees there.

The plants spokesperson says certain regulations like having an evacuation route and sirens in case of an emergency no longer apply because the nuclear plant is inactive.

He says that the safety of current workers and surrounding residents wouldn’t be jeopardized.

And keeping up with current regulations is costly.

“Right now nuclear activity at the plant is coming out of the decommissioning fund which is set up to go about decommissioning the plant so certainly the longer we’re required to have full time staff of our emergency response organization, the more drain it will have on the financial resources that are available ultimately for decommission of the site," he said.

Other closed plants have been exempt from the regulations but five U.S. Senators would like to see that changed.

A Senate Hearing Committee is scheduled for Wednesday to discuss not granting exemptions.

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