New plan would leave spent nuclear fuel at Wolf Creek until 2105

Published: Aug. 2, 2018 at 5:29 PM CDT
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The Kansas Corporation Commission revised the decommission plans for the Wolf Creek Generating Station. The KCC approved a different method than before on Thursday.

Previously the commission had approved what is called the DECON method which assumes that the U.S. Department of Energy will take the spent fuel at the decommissioning time and costs $814 million.

The nuclear plan in Burlington has been operating since 1985 and will decommission in 2045.

The plan approved Thursday, SAFSTOR, keeps the spent fuel at the facility until the unit is removed 60 years later in 2105. It will cost $1.09 billion.

Westar is part of the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operation Corporation (WCNOC) and rates for their customers will increase with the plan.

Spokesperson for Westar and KCP&L Jeremy McNeive said SAFTSOR is actually the better option for Westar customers.

"The change to the decommission plan would be about $800,000 annually which is less than 1 percent for Westar customers,” McNeive said. “Without the change, the decommission cost would have been $1.2 million annually. This is a positive thing, obviously, for Westar customers."

The WCNOC also includes Kansas City Power & Light, Kansas Gas and Electric and Kansas Electric Power Cooperative.

The decommission order goes under review every three years to make adjustments for inflation and any other factors.