This report was commissioned by Orange County, North Carolina, because the licensee of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant had requested an amendment of its operating license. The amendment would permit the activation of two currently unused spent fuel pools at Harris.
This report examines the risks and alternative options associated with spent fuel storage at Harris. The report identifies a potential for severe accidents at the Harris pools. Such accidents could release to the atmosphere an amount of cesium-137 an order of magnitude larger than the release from the 1986 Chernobyl accident. A severe accident at the Harris PWR, with containment failure or bypass, can be expected to initiate a large release from the fuel pools. The report concludes that alternative, safer options for spent fuel management are available, including dry storage of spent fuel, which is a well-established practice.
The extensive document includes multiple appendices, figures and graphs.