Dominion considers fuel modifications at Millstone

Waterford - Dominion Nuclear Connecticut is considering seeking a modification in its operating license that would enable it to use a different type of fuel in Millstone Unit 2 than it is currently using.

"It's a newer design that's more reliable and provides better heat," Ken Holt, Dominion spokesman, said.

Because the new fuel is configured differently than the current type, Dominion would need an amendment to its Nuclear Regulatory Commission license to accommodate it in the spent fuel pool after it is removed from the reactor, Holt said.

Every 18 months, one-third of the nuclear fuel in the reactor is removed to the spent fuel pool and replaced with new fuel.

Essentially, Dominion wants to change the way fuel assemblies are stored in the Unit 2 spent fuel pool, said Neil Sheehan, NRC spokesman.

In a pre-application meeting last month, NRC raised several questions about the plan. Holt said Dominion hopes to have another pre-application meeting with NRC to answer questions and to submit an application for a license modification by the end of this year. The pre-application meeting would be open to the public.

The company would start using the new fuel in 2015.

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