In 1954, a consortium of 11 New England Electric utilities formed Yankee Atomic Electric Company for the purpose of designing, constructing and operating a prototype nuclear power plant as part of President Eisenhower’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ Program. Construction of a four-loop pressurized water reactor began in Rowe, Massachusetts in 1958 and was completed in 1960. It was the third nuclear power plant built in the nation and the first in New England. The Yankee Nuclear Power Station or “Yankee Rowe” as it is often referred to, began commercial operation in 1961 and was only expected to operate for about six years. Instead, the small, 185 megawatt plant operated for more than three decades earning international distinction for its outstanding record.
During Yankee Rowe’s 30 plus years of operation, the plant safely produced 44 billion kilowatt hours of electricity for its New England customers. Yankee was permanently shut down in February 1992 when the plant was determined to be no longer economically viable.
Physical decommissioning of the former Yankee Rowe plant was completed in 2007. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) notified Yankee in August 2007 that the former plant site had been fully decommissioned in accordance with NRC procedures and regulations and formally approved Yankee Atomic’s Final Status Survey Reports in accordance with the License Termination Plan . The federal license for the site was reduced to the approximately 2 acres surrounding the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation site.
Yankee has made no decision at this point regarding the future use of the former plant site. As part of post-decommissioning activities, Yankee continues implementing post-closure monitoring activities under Massachusetts DEP regulations and will continue to monitor the groundwater at the site in accordance with the prescribed groundwater monitoring plant.