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2018-04-13. Diablo Canyon’s dismantling.

posted Apr 13, 2018, 4:15 PM by Alan Gould
By David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle. For GSS Energy Use chapter 4. Excerpt: A nuclear power plant doesn’t just shut down. It gets taken apart piece by piece, until almost nothing remains. The process requires billions of dollars, hundreds of workers and more than a decade to complete. It’s a fate Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is now planning for California’s last nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, set to close in 2025. Every step must be carefully scripted. Fuel rods full of uranium pellets are pulled from the reactor, cooled in pools of water laced with boric acid, then transferred to giant concrete casks. Deep in the heart of the plant, metal components made radioactive by decades of use must be disassembled or carved into chunks — often by remote-controlled tools. The hazardous scrap gets hauled to four specially designed landfills scattered across the country, with some machinery buried in concrete sarcophagi. ...It’s a process likely to be repeated often in the coming years as more nuclear plant operators decide to shut down their facilities, which have been undercut by cheap electricity from natural gas plants.... https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Diablo-Canyon-s-dismantling-Inside-the-12826795.php