According to the “Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) on Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities” report in NUREG-0586, there are three possible options of decommissioning methods for nuclear power plants: immediate decontamination (DECON), safe storage (SAFSTOR), and long-term storage (ENTOMB). An overview of each model is as follows:
DECON: After the power plant has permanently halted operations, the equipment, structures, facilities, and soil contaminated by radioactivity will be decontaminated and dismantled within a short period of time.
SAFSTOR: After a long period of safe storage of nuclear energy facilities, decontamination and dismantling works are carried out. During the period of storage, most of the power plant facilities are left intact, but the nuclear fuel is removed from the reactor, and radioactive liquids are treated and discharged using the relevant systems and equipment. The attenuation effect of radioactivity after long-term storage helps to reduce the activity of radioactive pollutants.
ENTOMB: Radioactive structures, systems, and equipment are sealed in durable containment barriers (such as concrete barriers), and the suitable maintenance and monitoring are conducted for the barrier structures.
Site comparison map of Yankee Rowe nuclear reactor before and after decommissioning
Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant site before decommissioning
Current status of Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant site after decommissioning (ISFSI ONLY)