Vermont Yankee’s Decommissioning to be Accelerated by Decades

Entergy today announced an agreement to sell its Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to subsidiaries of NorthStar Group, a New York-based dismantling and remediation company.

The deal will transfer the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licenses for Vermont Yankee to NorthStar, which will work with AREVA, Waste Control Specialists, and Burns & McDonnell to dismantle the plant. The agreement will accelerate decommissioning and restoration of the site by decades, Entergy said in a press release.

“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. “This transaction enables us to manage financial risk and reduce our company’s merchant power footprint.”

“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,” said Scott State, NorthStar’s chief executive officer.

Under Entergy’s original schedule, as outlined in its Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report filed with the NRC, the company expected to initiate decontamination and dismantlement of Vermont Yankee in 2068, with projected completion of both decommissioning and site restoration by 2075.

Under the new agreement, NorthStar has committed to initiate decontamination and dismantlement by 2021, and to complete decommissioning and restoration of the Vermont Yankee site (excepting the independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI)) by 2030. Thereafter, NorthStar will continue to operate and maintain the ISFSI until the U.S. Department of Energy fulfills its contractual obligations to remove all spent nuclear fuel from Vermont Yankee. NorthStar will then decommission the ISFSI, terminate the NRC license, and complete site restoration.

Holtec International, the manufacturer of the dry storage systems used at Vermont Yankee, submitted license amendment requests to the NRC earlier this year, which if approved, will support complete transfer of all of Vermont Yankee’s spent nuclear fuel to dry storage by the end of 2018.

The sale of Vermont Yankee 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.

Entergy also 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.

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