Highly radioactive material transferred to dry storage site

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Genoa, Wis (WEAU)- Dairyland Power is moving its radioactive waste to a dry storage site this summer.

There is no need for people to be worried about being exposed, “our fuel is decayed since it’s storage in 1987 so the radiation is very, very low,” said Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Manager Donald Egge.

The Genoa nuclear power plant was shut down in 1987. Since then the radioactive material has been kept in wet storage inside the plant, costing 6 million annually to keep.

The wet storage wasn’t meant to be long term and transferring the materials to a dry storage area will last until the government decides what to do with it, and save Dairyland Power money.

Last week the 1st out of 5 canisters holding the radioactive material was moved to the ISFSI pad. The pad is a ‘dry’ storage area that has been engineered to withstand any natural disaster, and the soil has been compacted in case of any spill.

The radioactive material itself is encased by 2 protective layers, “they are protected by a stainless steel canister assembly on the inside and on the outside is a concrete cast,” said Egge.

Dairyland Power has been putting the project together for 5 years. The transfers will cost 44 million dollars, but Dairyland Power Generation Vice President Rob Palmberg says it should save money in the long run.

"Storing on the dry storage site will cost half of what it costs to keep it in the wet storage," said Palmberg.

The next transfer will begin tomorrow.

The 2nd cast is in the building right now. We will begin making movements tomorrow and throughout this week placing the rods into the canisters. Early next they will be ready to transport,” said Palmberg.

The nuclear waste will stay in the dry storage area until the government decides what to do with it, which Palmberg says may take a while.

The transfers should be finished by the end of August.

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