, November 27, 2007 (ENS) - Most of the land around the old Connecticut Yankee nuclear power plant in Haddam Neck, Connecticut was released Monday by the federal government for "unrestricted public use."
The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC, announced approval of Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company's request to release a majority of the Haddam Neck site for public access.
In a statement, the NRC said, "Release of this land for unrestricted use poses no threat to public health and safety."
Located in the hills of the Lower Connecticut River valley, about 30 minutes drive from Hartford and New Haven, the site is in Haddam Neck, a part of the town of Haddam that is separated from the rest by the Connecticut River.
It is the only town in the United States without a bridge to connect the separated parts.
All major plant structures at Connecticut Yankee were demolished by August 2006. Demolition of the few remaining ancillary buildings and structures was completed last fall. The NRC says dismantlement and decommissioning were completed in July.
Connecticut Yankee’s nuclear operating license from the NRC will still apply to the site's dry cask storage facility, where the radioactive spent nuclear fuel from the plant's 28 years of operation is stored, plus a five acre parcel of land surrounding this facility.
The federal agency says Connecticut Yankee remains responsible for the security and protection of this land and the dry cask storage facility, and is required to maintain $100 million in nuclear liability insurance coverage for the facility until the spent fuel has been removed.
Haddam Neck began commercial operations January 1, 1968, and ceased production December 5, 1996, producing more than 110 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity during its 28 year operating history.
Residual radioactive contamination on the land - approximately 210 acres - is below NRC regulatory requirements that allow a maximum radiation dose of 25 millirem per year. The agency said Monday, "NRC surveys verified that cleanup met the 25 millirem per year requirement."
The average person in the United States receives about 300 millirem from background radiation each year, according to the NRC.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2007. All rights reserved.
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