NRC: Limerick Plant Shutdown Fund May Be Underfunded

Exelon's nuclear plants, including Limerick Generating Station, have been the focus of an NRC investigation.

In a letter sent to Exelon Nuclear and provided to the press, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that an internal investigation showed that Exelon "employees deliberately provided incomplete and inaccurate information in decommissioning funding status (DFS) reports submitted to the NRC." 

report in The Mercury on Friday stated that the issue affects all 12 of Exelon Nuclear's plants—three in Pennsylvania, two in New Jersey and seven in Illinois. 

A decommissioning fund is used after a plant is closed to restore the property to its pre-facility condition. Generally, the funds are placed in a trust and are regularly checked to make sure the money is growing at a rate steady enough to provide the full necessary amount at closure. 

The NRC said in its letter that two employees of Exelon provided inaccurate information in Exelon's reports for the years 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. 

Neil Sheehan, an NRC spokesman, told the Mercury that those two employees were the director and the manager of Spent Fuel and Decommissioning, but declined to provide their names. 

Exelon disputes the NRC's assertions that their employees provided false or incorrect information. 

David Tillman, Exelon's senior manager for nuclear communications, told The Mercury that they "are not aware of any evidence supporting a conclusion that Exelon employees performed or condoned deliberate misconduct or intentionally violated regulatory requirements."

Despite the issues with the discrepancy, the funding will not be needed for at least another eleven years for Reactor 1 and sixteen years for Reactor 2. 

Limerick Generating Station currently has a license to operate its reactors until 2024 and 2029, respectively, and they are in the process of applying for a license extension of twenty years on both reactors. 

The investigation will continue with a conference between Exelon Nuclear and the NRC. 


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