LACEY, NJ - Temporary restraints stopping aspects of the decommissioning work at Oyster Creek since June 2 have been lifted. Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson, Jr. signed off today on a consent order between Lacey Township and Holtec International.

Lacey went to court with complaints that the company started construction without the necessary permits. When township officials found out work was going on without permits in place, they issued a stop order. Holtec appealed to the county – but failed to stop the work pending the results of the appeal. 

“We have the right to require the permits and to conduct site inspections,” said Jerry Dasti, who represents Lacey Township. “We are also concerned about safety.”

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The work in question concerns the construction of housing for spent nuclear rods. Holtec complied with directives to produce licensing and documentation from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). It also arranged a site inspection for Lacey officials on June 8, 2020.

The agreement between Lacey and Holtec requires the company to submit a Site Plan Application to the Lacey Planning Board for approval. Lacey has agreed to help Holtec in reviewing and making recommendations to facilitate processes regarding various permits.  

As part of the process, Holtec consented to providing information concerning any construction before and after the issuance of the Stop Work Order - placing additional modules on the existing storage pad.  These pads are designed to house spent fuel rods, which raise concerns about safety issues.

Any new plans for construction must also be submitted in the application to the Township Planning Board on or before July 20, 2020.

The Planning Board will conduct a public hearing on the Site Plan Application, to be scheduled on or before August 10, 2020.  The decision on the application should be made that same day and memorialized in resolution form.

After approval by the Planning Board, Holtec will also need to apply for construction permits to use the Cask Transfer Pit for its spent fuel transfer.

No new construction may take place until the permits are issued and inspections occur.

Holtec plans to start “dry runs” beginning in September, which the NRC requires as far as testing and training exercises for the HI-STORM FW spent fuel storage casks. This is a multi-step process that begins with moving the spent fuel canister and transferring the cask into the spent fuel pool. 

The end goal is to place the spent fuel canister in the overpack onto the pad specially designed for it.

Holtec has come under fire by members of the public who claim they are not transparent. Last September, the company held a Stakeholder Forum that left many with unanswered questions.

The parties agreed that Lacey would host quarterly workshops for Holtec to provide local stakeholders updates on the decommissioning process.

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