Reactor Decommissioning History
Elk River
revised 2010-02-22


Elk River Demonstration Reactor (ERR) was a power producing BWR. Architect was Sargent & Lundy with NSSS being Allis-Chalmers. Power produced was 23.8 MWe and 58 MWt. It generated 53,000 MWD (Thermal). Startup was November 1962 and shut down January 1968.

Reactor decommissioning activities are believed complete.

Reactor Decommissioning Specifics

Internals Removal
Remote plasma tooling used was based on the design by Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL). We assume plasma cutting was also done by hands-on. Possibly some internals were size reduced using explosives.

Reactor Vessel Removal
Reactor was cut underwater using the remote operated plasma torch manipulator. Sections were put in shipping cask while underwater. Disposal was by land burial.

Segmentation and Packaging Plan (S&P Plan)
Dismantling Plan (SS-836)

Key People
Dan McConnon

Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL) designed an/or built some equipment.

The Elk River plant had several "lives". Currently an energy-from-waste plant or Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), it was originally a coal and oil fired facility in 1950 then nuclear in 1963. After nuclear it was again coal and oil from 1968 to 1989.

The "Rural Cooperative Power Association" (RCPA which became Great River Energy) partnered with the Atomic Energy Commission in 1958 to bring the first nuclear power to Minnesota.

Related Publications and Documents
"Dismantling of the Elk River Boiling Water Reactor" by J.W. Jones, R.W. Pulliam, W.J. Manion.
Radioactive Operations in the Dismantling of the Elk River Reactor" by J.F. Nemec, R. Beckers, R. Blumberg.
"Health Physics Planning for Dismantling of the Elk River Reactor" by Dan McConnon.
"Operational Health Physics During Dismantling of the Elk River Reactor" by Dan McConnon.
"The Respiratory Protection Program for Dismantling of the Elk River Reactor" by D. McConnon and R. Wonacott.
"Experiences in Decontamination/Decommissioning of the Elk River Reactor" by D. McConnon and J.F. Nemec.
"Evaluation of nuclear facility decommissioning projects: project summary report, Elk River Reactor" prepared by R.L. Miller, J.A. Adams. December 1982. NUREG/CR-2985. (this report has little more than waste and pricing information).

The Wikipedia web page as of Feb 22, 2010.
ESG-DOE-13403 "Sodium Reactor Experiment Decommissioning Final Report" by Rockwell International.
Star News 10/17/06 "Dwane Hill will talk about Elk River's nuclear reactor".

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