Update 11/15/17 (8:48 a.m.)–According to a call from Delbalso early this a.m., there will be a total of 12 shipments, not 20, mostly old equipment.
Residents near Eastern Ave. in Ballston Spa saw the beginning of a “Refueling and Overhaul” project yesterday, starting with the removal of the existing railroad tracks from the neighborhood. The construction is the beginning of a highly detailed plan that supports hands-on training to United States’ Naval nuclear operators.
Titled “Kesselring Site Refueling and Overhaul of the S8G Prototype”, the project requires replacement of the existing tracks to accomodate 20 shipments, 10 in for refueling and 10 out of old equipment.
The Kesselring site is a research and development facility in West Milton and the site of two nuclear reactors. Operated by Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, the location is a joint effort between the U.S. Navy and the Department of Energy.
Danielle Delbalso, a representative from the public affairs office of the Naval Nuclear Labratory (NNL) explained the existence of two operating nuclear propulsion plants, known as prototypes, as necessary training platforms for operational testing of new designs and technologies.
In a document posted on the NNL website, the project is described as “well-developed processes and are safe for the community”.
“All shipments will be in full compliance with all federal, state, and local requirements. The Heavy Haul vendor will coordinate the shipments with the New York State Department of Transportation, Saratoga
County, and the Village of Ballston Spa“, the document states further down.
The refueling and overhaul activity at Kesselring will begin October, 2018. Upgrades to the rail spur, a secondary track, have begun and are expected to be finished by January, 2018. Rail shipments from the rail spur to the facility are anticipated to occur between Spring, 2018 and Winter, 2019. Shipments of material from the location, between Fall, 2019 and Summer, 2020.
Delbalso acknowledged resident concerns and encouraged anyone with questions to review the full detail of the plan on the NNL website https://navalnuclearlab.energy.gov/ckfinder/userfiles/files/Kesselring%20Site%20Refueling%20and%20Overhaul%20of%20the%20S8G%20Prototype(3).pdf
Questions will also be answered by the public affairs office through the website or by calling (518)395-4413.