WISCASSET — The Maine Yankee Community Advisory Panel on Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage will meet Tuesday to update Wiscasset residents on the status of the 64 containers of nuclear waste stored at the former Maine Yankee power plant site.

The federal government was contractually obligated to remove the radioactive waste by 1998 after the plant was decommissioned in 1996. The advisory panel advocates for the removal of the spent nuclear fuel to a safe location outside New England.

Eric Howes, Maine Yankee director of public and government affairs, will also give an update on the Sensible, Timely Relief for America’s Nuclear Districts Economic Development (STRANDED) Act, which was introduced by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, in July. The act is aimed at providing financial relief to communities like Wiscasset stuck with storing nuclear waste.

Should the STRANDED Act pass, Wiscasset would be eligible to receive $15 per kilogram of nuclear waste currently being housed at the site, which is the rate for impact assistance established under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982.

There are about 542 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel stored at Maine Yankee, meaning Wiscasset would collect over $8 million from the government. According to Maine Yankee, it costs roughly $10 million per year to maintain the 64 canisters of radioactive waste.

The spent nuclear fuel is housed in 64 dry storage casks, which stand on 16 3-foot-thick concrete pads. Each concrete cask is comprised of a 2.5-inch thick steel liner surrounded by 28 inches of reinforced concrete.

The meeting will be held at the Wiscasset Community Center on Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 4 – 6 p.m.

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