Sargent & Lundy

Big Rock Point BWR Decommissioning and ISFSI Implementation

ISFSI design, decommissioning power system, and structural engineering for large component removal

Charlevoix, Michigan
Commercial BWR Decommissioning
Client: Consumers Energy

  • Decommissioning Power System Design
  • Island ISFSI Design
  • Major Component Removal Engineering
  • Reactor Vessel Transportation System Design and Licensing

Big Rock Point, an early-vintage boiling water reactor (BWR) facility, was shut down in 1997. Consumers Energy selected immediate dismantlement of the plant, including storage of the spent fuel on an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI), and returning the plant site to greenfield status. The Sargent & Lundy designed Decommissioning Power System was recognized as a Power Engineering: Project of the Year, a significant industrial safety project.

Sargent & Lundy performed the full design for the remote island ISFSI, freeing up the plant site for free release and greenfield use. The team also prepared the design and Safety Analysis Report for the first NRC-certified, fully compliant Type B reactor vessel package. The reactor vessel was shipped to Barnwell for burial in 2004, and the site was decommissioned by 2007.

Project Scope:

  • Determination of decommissioning power loads, specification of new system transformer and switchgear, plant distribution and raceway design for an independent, color-coded power distribution system designed to provide safety for workers
  • Complete ISFSI design including geotechnical and seismic analyses, central alarm station, perimeter intrusion and detection system (PIDS), and operations facility design
  • Radiological dose analyses were performed, including berm design for shielding.
  • Site civil design and electrical power distribution design were also provided
  • Structural engineering for the design of the containment opening shell reinforcement, load handling systems, including floor shoring and crane upgrade for the removal of large plant components and loading of fuel storage casks
  • Preparation of design and supporting analyses for the reactor vessel package and transportation system.
  • Analyses to demonstrate compliance with Normal Condition of Transport (NCT) and Hypothetical Accident Conditions (HAC), including non-linear structural analysis to evaluate the consequences of the HAC thirty foot load drop.

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Thomas Behringer

Senior Vice President




Tom brings 34 years of experience, working on new and operating nuclear power plants.