Press Enterprise: PG&E breaks ground on storage facility for spent nuclear fuel

PG&E breaks ground on storage facility for spent nuclear fuel

Humbolt Bay


Spent nuclear fuel rods currently resting in a decommissioned nuclear power facility in the King Salmon area appear to be destined for a safer location from the North Coast’s hefty seismic hazards.

Residents, community leaders and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. employees gathered Wednesday to break ground on a PG&E project to build an underground concrete storage facility inside a hill on the Humboldt Bay Power Plant property. The bunker is designed to withstand a 9.3-magnitude earthquake and shield the fuel from a terrorist attack.

The facility is scheduled to be completed by 2008 and will be an interim stop for the 390 fuel rods until the U.S. Department of Energy completes its Yucca Mountain Repository in Nevada.

“This dry cask storage project will take some material out of what I think is a fragile environment … and make it safer for the people who live nearby,” said Jimmy Smith, a Humboldt County supervisor.

PG&E also plans to modernize the facility over the next three years with 10 natural gas burning engines that could be run independently and more efficiently to provide up to 163 megawatts of electricity.


Information from: Times-Standard,

Published: Thursday, April 5, 2007 18:45 PDT

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