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NRC to hold nuke-waste meeting in Charlotte

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a meeting in Charlotte on Monday on whether nuclear power plants can safely store spent fuel after the plants stop operating.

A U.S. Court of Appeals last year vacated the NRC’s “waste confidence” rule, in which the agency said used fuel could be safely stored for at least 60 years after plants retire. The court said analyses underpinning the rule were flawed.

The NRC is now taking public comment on a new, proposed rule. Details are at www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/wcd.html.

Anti-nuclear and industry groups are expected to attend the Charlotte meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Hilton Charlotte University Place, 8629 J.M. Keynes Drive.

Spent nuclear fuel, which is hot and highly radioactive when removed from reactors, is immersed in large pools of cooling water that also shield radiation. The fuel is sometimes then transferred to dry-storage systems of concrete and steel.

Duke Energy operates six nuclear plants in the Carolinas – McGuire and Catawba near Charlotte; Harris near Raleigh; Brunswick on the North Carolina coast; and Oconee and Robinson in South Carolina.

Henderson: 704-358-5051; Twitter: @bhender
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