While all eyes are on the US elections today, Entergy announced that it is selling Vermont Yankee to NorthStar Group Services. Links to articles are below. An article is posted on VtDigger here: http://vtdigger.org/2016/11/08/entergy-sell-vermont-yankee-northstar
- Entergy now plans to move the hghly radioactive spent fuel into dry casks by 2018, two years ahead of schedule.
- Northstar intends to begin work in 2021 and complete decommissioning (except for the radioactive fuel in the dry casks) by 2030 – decades ahead of schedule.
- NorthStar will get the $525 million decommissioning trust fund.
- The sale must go through the Public Service Board and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The next Nuclear Decommissioning Citizen Advisory Panel meeting is November 17. This sale will certainly come up. Chair Kate O’Conner said this topic alone will be addressed at special meeting of NDCAP December 1st. NorthStar, its 3 partners in this venture (Areva, Waste Control Specialist, and Burns & Donnell), Entergy and other parties will be at this meeting. Both meetings are on Thursdays, 6-9pm, at the Brattleboro Union Middle School Multi Purpose Room. PLEASE Attend.
Entergy’s Press Release is here. [One red flag that came up for this reader: “NorthStar will ask the Public Service Board to approve proposed site restoration standards that are generally consistent with those of other regional decommissioning projects.” Will this conflict with the “greenfield” standard set in the original 2002 sale agreement?]
FYI: This is not the first time a company has sold reactors for this purpose. Zion, an Illinois site with two reactors, was sold by its nuclear owner to EnergySolutions, a decommissioning company. As of October 25, 2016, according to its recent press release, it is 6 months ahead of schedule and on budget. Let’s hope a rush job doesn’t mean a toxic legacy for the residents of Illinois. Power Engineering Magazine 10.25.16
Finally, here is a press release from the state:
Gov. Shumlin Statement on Entergy Filing with Public Service Board
Montpelier – Gov. Peter Shumlin issued the following statement after Entergy announced it would file to transfer ownership of the Vermont Yankee site.
“Today’s announcement that Entergy is planning to file for approval at the Public Service Board to transfer ownership of the Vermont Yankee site to a third-party offers the potential for an accelerated decommissioning of the plant. This is something my Administration has advocated for, and as a Governor who is from Windham County, I can tell you that it would be a major positive for the economy and for jobs in Southern Vermont. I am also pleased that Entergy is announcing plans to move up by two years, to 2018, the date by which spent fuel will be transferred to dry cask storage.
“However, I want to be clear that Vermont needs an open and transparent look at the financial capabilities of the buyer to be able to complete the decommissioning at Vermont Yankee. Vermont will advocate for rigorous financial disclosure in the Public Service Board process. The state and the public must have confidence that the buyer has financial backing to meet the decommissioning schedule, even in the event that they find additional cleanup work necessary that we cannot foresee. We will also advocate for strong site restoration standards that will allow for safe and productive reuse of the site.
“My Administration looks forward to starting a process at the Board to determine if this transaction meets the public good of the state.”