Maine Yankee Decommissioning Overview

Maine Yankee was a single-unit 900 megawatt Pressurized Water Reactor that safely generated about 119 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from 1972 through 1996. Located in Wiscasset, Maine the plant was Maine's largest generator of electricity. Maine Yankee permanently shut-down in August 1997 when it was no longer economically viable to operate.

Maine Yankee was one of the first large commercial power reactors to complete decommissioning. Maine Yankee completed the decommissioning safely and within budget. The site was cleaned radiologically to a level significantly more stringent than required by U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations. A hallmark of Maine Yankee's decommissioning was stakeholders working together toward a site restoration second to none. The Maine Yankee project broke new ground in many areas while garnering international recognition for innovation and excellence.

Key Accomplishments of Decommissioning

    • Zero lost time injuries from May 2002 through the end of decommissioning in October 2005. For every 200,000 hours worked, the decommissioning project had a Lost Time Incident Rate of .26 compared with a demolition industry rate of 3.6.

    • Completed decommissioning for less than half the NRC's radiological dose limit;

    • Radiological cleanup of the site was significantly lower than the 10 millirem target;

    • First ever use of explosives to safely demolish a containment building;

    • Approximately 400 million pounds of waste safely removed from the site by rail, truck and barge;

    • Largest single campaign to move spent nuclear fuel from wet to dry storage;

    • Creation of an upland marsh area;

    • Recipient of 2005 New England Business Council's Outstanding Environmental Innovation Award in recognition of the approaches and technologies used during the decommissioning and environmental restoration of the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant;

    • Donation of 200 acres of plant property for conservation and environmental education;

    • Transfer of 400 acres of plant property now undergoing economic development.

To learn more about Maine Yankee’s decommissioning including stakeholder involvement click on Document Room to view the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) report on decommissioning and the report of the Maine Yankee Community Advisory Panel (CAP) on Decommissioning.

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