Society News Archive

19 July 2000

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued the final version of NUREG-1628, "Staff Responses to Frequently Asked Question Concerning the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants," explaining its decommissioning process. The NUREG through a question-and-answer format, provides NRC staff responses to frequently asked questions on the decommissioning process for commercial nuclear power reactors. The questions were taken from a variety of sources over the past several years, including written inquiries to the NRC and questions asked at public meetings and during informal discussions with the NRC staff. In responding to the questions, the NRC staff attempted to provide the answers in a clear and non-technical form.

The report contains a definition of decommissioning and a discussion of alternatives. It also provides a focus on decommissioning experiences in the United States and how the NRC regulates the decommissioning process. Questions related to spent fuel, low-level waste, and transportation related to decommissioning are answered. Questions on socioeconomics, partial site releases, independent spent fuel storage installation, license termination, the ultimate disposition of the facility, and finances for completing decommissioning and hazards associated with decommissioning are also addressed. This document also provides responses to questions related to public involvement in decommissioning as well as providing the public with sources for obtaining additional information on decommissioning. The report is available on NRC's website.