La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor - LACBWR
The La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor (LACBWR) was built in 1967 as part of a joint project with the federal 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 Power Cooperative. At the time, both parties believed that spent nuclear fuel would be reprocessed and would not become a long-term storage problem. Reprocessing was terminated through a presidential executive order by Jimmy Carter in April 1977.
LACBWR was shutdown and placed in SAFSTOR in April 1987.
Dry Cask Storage Project Complete
The project to safely and efficiently transfer used nuclear fuel from Dairyland’s LACBWR shut-down nuclear facility to the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) on the south end of the Genoa Site (Genoa, Wis.) was completed in September 2012.
Final decommissioning of the LACBWR facility is commencing. Final decommissioning, which will include demobilizing equipment, shutting down systems and draining the fuel pool among other tasks, is expected to take five to seven years.
Decommissioning milestones & project background
LACBWR has been shut down since 1987; however, the used fuel had remained on-site. Although the fuel was safe in LACBWR’s storage pool, it was not intended as a long term storage solution. Additionally, Dairyland could not proceed with final decommissioning of the facility while the fuel was on site.
Dairyland prepared for several years to remove LACBWR’s used fuel from the fuel pool and place it into a dry cask storage system on the south end of Dairyland’s Genoa Site. The fuel will be monitored around the clock at the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation site (ISFSI), in accordance with NRC regulations.
Another key decommissioning activity occurred in 2007, when Dairyland contracted with Energy Solutions, a national radioactive waste services contractor, to facilitate the removal and disposal of LACBWR’s Reactor Pressure Vessel and other low-level, non-fuel waste to a disposal site in South Carolina.