Decommissioning activities would create significant economic benefits for the state and the 7 county region in northeastern Illinois. Over the ten years that the project is estimated to take, direct economic activities would generate approximately $390 million in new economic output, 1,570 man-years of employment, and almost $150 million in employment compensation throughout the Illinois economy.
ZionSolutions personnel deployed a similar dry fuel storage system for the decommissioning and site restoration project at Big Rock Point nuclear power plant in Michigan. Dry storage has been safely used for more than 20 years. Security officers, physical barriers, and surveillance technology are employed to fully comply with NRC criteria. At Zion, the dry fuel storage facility will be farther from the lakefront than its current storage location.
- ZionSolutions will hold and be responsible for compliance with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses for the duration of decommissioning.
- Under the ZionSolutions plan, site restoration and beneficial reuse will be achieved at least 12 years earlier than the current plan.
- Decommissioning plan provides cost certainty with no further contributions from Illinois electric ratepayers.
- Removal of radioactive materials such as piping, tanks, valves, and pumps, and subsequent independent verification, allows for the termination of Zion's NRC licenses.
- All low-level radioactive waste generated in the Zion decommissioning project will be disposed of outside Illinois.
- ZionSolutions estimates that it will package and transport several million cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste to EnergySolutions' disposal site in Clive, Utah.
- Spent fuel will continue to be safely and securely stored on site in transport-ready containers.
- Trades and labor union personnel will perform work under a Project Labor Agreement. The current small number of Exelon employees will remain on site supporting the project under a separate contract agreement.
- Goods and services will be purchased from Zion/Northern Lake County whenever possible.
- Approximately 400 employees and contractors will be employed on site during the peak of decommissioning activity.
- The lakefront and wetlands will be protected through the use of conservative and rigorous environmental standards and controls and a comprehensive monitoring program.
ZionSolutions will load the spent fuel into specially engineered, licensed containers ("dry casks") to be stored on a structurally sound concrete pad at the site.
- Casks are heavily shielded and meet the stringent design and licensing requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- ZionSolutions will monitor the storage site and provide round-the-clock security.
- Similar casks are in use today at more than 60 nuclear power plant site in the U.S.
- Dry fuel storage will allow the spent fuel to be readily transferred from the Zion site to the DOE in the future.
ZionSolutions is committed to the safety of our employees, the citizens of Zion and surrounding communities, and the environment.
- Proprietary, proven technologies and processes will be utilized to ensure worker and public safety during all decommissioning activities.
- ZionSolutions maintains a safety record with injury rates about 80 percent lower than the industry average for similar businesses.
- The lakefront and wetlands will be protected through rigorous environmental controls and a comprehensive monitoring program.