Elk River Station

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Elk River Station is an energy-from-waste plant operating in Elk River, Minnesota that generates 35 to 42 megawatts of electrical power.

The site was originally built as a coal and oil-fired facility in 1950, then construction began on a nuclear power plant (boiling water reactor) in 1959.[1] The nuclear reactor was small (22 MW[1]) and only operated from July 1, 1964[1] until February 1, 1968[1] before undergoing decommission and dismantlement in the following years, ending in the early 1970s. Some of the spent nuclear fuel from Elk River was sent to Italy for reprocessing as part of a thorium fuel cycle research program; decades later this became the subject of diplomatic exchanges regarding its ultimate fate.[2]

Elk River resumed operating on coal and oil in 1968.

In 1989, the facility was again converted, this time to use Refuse Derived Fuel or (RDF) for fuel. The RDF is made from municipal solid waste. Waste arrives from Anoka, Benton, Hennepin, Sherburne, and Stearns counties, and the ash remaining after incineration is taken to a landfill in Becker, Minnesota.

Elk River Station is operated by the Great River Energy cooperative.


  1. ^ a b c d . IAEA. 2013-04-13 http://www.iaea.org/PRIS/CountryStatistics/ReactorDetails.aspx?current=596. Retrieved 2013-04-14. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ WikiLeaks cable: 04ROME3592; Repatriating Spent Elk River Fuel From Italy - Secretary Abraham's Response To Prime Minister's Office
    WikiLeaks cable: 06ROME439; Disposition Of Elk River Spent Nuclear Fuel: Letter From U/s Of The Council Of Ministers Gianni Letta To Ambassador
    WikiLeaks cable: 06ROME903; Sending Spent Elk River Fuel To India
    WikiLeaks cable: 08ROME1538; Italian Nuclear Material: Sogin Response To Gtri Action Paper

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Coordinates: 45°17′43″N 93°33′24″W / 45.295172°N 93.5567°W / 45.295172; -93.5567