Dairyland works out deal with EnergySolutions for La Crosse nuclear cleanup

Dairyland Power Cooperative and EnergySolutions announced Nov. 3 that they have executed an agreement for the decommissioning of the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor (LACBWR) site located in Genoa, Wisconsin, which is owned by Dairyland. 

Under the agreement, Dairyland’s Possession Only License will be transferred to an EnergySolutions company, LaCrosseSolutions, which will assume responsibility for completing the remaining decommissioning of the site except for the spent nuclear fuel storage facility. Dairyland will retain ownership of the LACBWR site and the spent nuclear fuel.

The parties said they will jointly seek the necessary regulatory approvals, including an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to approve the transfer of the License to LaCrosseSolutions. Upon completion of decommissioning, the license will be amended to cover the dry fuel storage facility only and transferred back to Dairyland.

The LACBWR project will be the second “licensed stewardship” arrangement for decommissioning by EnergySolutions following on the successful model it used for the Zion Nuclear Power Plant Project in Illinois.

“As we continue the accelerated decommissioning of the Zion project, the LACBWR opportunity allows us to utilize EnergySolutions talent and expertise from Zion and the rest of the company to support the decommissioning of LACBWR,” said David Lockwood, CEO and President of EnergySolutions. “The key to success is using the best available people and processes and our unique logistics and disposal capability that allows us to expedite decommissioning and retiring project risk.”

“Dairyland has found a partner with the necessary expertise and experience to finish decommissioning LACBWR, allowing us to focus on our core mission to safely and reliably deliver power to our members,” said Rob Palmberg, Vice President of Generation for Dairyland. “Since we will continue to operate our Genoa #3 Station at the site, we have reached an arrangement where Dairyland and EnergySolutions will work together to ensure success of the LACBWR decommissioning while minimizing any impact to the ongoing Genoa #3 operations.”

The La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor was built in 1967 as part of a joint project with the Atomic Energy Commission to demonstrate the peacetime use of nuclear power. Dairyland built the turbine, generator and plant auxiliary systems. In 1973, the reactor and fuel were transferred to Dairyland. The LACBWR was shut down and placed in SAFSTOR condition in 1987. The project to transfer used nuclear fuel from the LACBWR to the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) on the south end of the Genoa site was completed in 2012.

With headquarters in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. Dairyland’s service area encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois).

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.