Entergy Corp. said an agreement to sell Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee and transfer the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission licenses to subsidiaries of NorthStar Group Services, Inc. to accelerate decommissioning and site restoration by decades.
In addition, Entergy announced plans to accelerate the transfer of all spent nuclear fuel to dry cask storage at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, from 2020 to 2018.
The sale of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee (ENVY) is subject to closing conditions, including approval by the NRC and the Vermont Public Service Board. Entergy and NorthStar will ask the Public Service Board to approve proposed site restoration standards that are generally consistent with those of other regional decommissioning projects. The companies anticipate that the transaction will close by the end of 2018.
"By accelerating decommissioning, we are fulfilling a commitment we made in 2013 to decommission Vermont Yankee as soon as reasonably possible," said Bill Mohl, President, Entergy Wholesale Commodities. "Decommissioning and site restoration, drawing on NorthStar's expertise, will provide economic development for the region."
Mohl added, "For Entergy, this transaction enables us to manage financial risk and reduce our company's merchant power footprint."
NorthStar, based in New York, is a dismantling and remediation company and is partnering through a unit with Areva, Waste Control Specialists and Burns & McDonnell to perform specialized services drawing on each company's core competencies. The NorthStar team members have collectively worked on more than 300 nuclear and non-nuclear power plant projects over the past 15 years and bring deep expertise in complex and specialized tasks such as reactor vessel segmentation, waste packaging/transportation/disposal, environmental remediation, site closure and spent fuel management.
"Our in-house expertise, combined with the proven track record of our partners, provides the complete package of skills needed to ensure the timely, safe, cost-efficient decommissioning and restoration of the Vermont Yankee site," said Scott State, NorthStar's chief executive officer. "Our primary objective is to complete the decommissioning of the non-Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation portion of the site decades earlier than originally planned so that a majority of Vermont Yankee can be re-developed to promote business for the region."
Under Entergy's original schedule, as outlined in its Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report filed with the NRC, Entergy expected to initiate decontamination and dismantlement in 2068, with projected completion of both decommissioning and site restoration by 2075. Under the agreement with Entergy, NorthStar has committed to initiate decontamination and dismantlement by 2021 and to complete decommissioning and restoration of the Vermont Yankee site (with the exception of the ISFSI), by 2030. Thereafter, NorthStar will continue to operate and maintain the ISFSI until the US Department of Energy fulfills its statutory and contractual obligations to remove all of the spent nuclear fuel from Vermont Yankee. NorthStar will then decommission the ISFSI, terminate the NRC license and complete site restoration.