2017 Timeline

  • Resources

  • 2017 was dominated by issues related to the proposed sale of Vermont Yankee by Entergy to NorthStar. NorthStar’s ‘dream team’ to decommission Yankee included Areva, Waste Control Specialists, and an engineering firm.

    Please see the 2017 links to news articles & commentary on the Decommissioning Resources page for the play-by-play. Here are highlights.

    January:

    Entergy announces that it will close Indian Point, the last of its 6 northeast nuclear reactor sites. 

    February:

    AREVA and NorthStar announce the formation of a new joint venture named Accelerated Decommissioning Partners (ADP).

    March:

    Eight parties apply to intervenor status before the PSB in the Vermont Yankee sale case (Docket 8880).

    April:

    The first of two public hearings on the sale of Vt Yankee is hosted by the VT PUC and Public Service Department.

    Waste Control Specialists withdraws its proposal to the NRC to construct a new high-level nuclear waste storage facility in Texas.

    May:

    NorthStar and Entergy fight to keep “detailed pay item disbursement schedule” and the “deal model” financial information from the public.

    June: Entergy begins moving 2,996  highly radioactive spent fuel assemblies  from the fuel pool into Holtec casks on site.

    J.F. Lehman & Co., a private equity firm, acquired a majority interest in the parent company of NorthStar Group Services. The same company later purchase Waste Control Specialists, which is on NorthStar’s Yankee decommissioning team.

    July:

    Public Service Board changes its name to Public Utilities Commission. New chair, Anthony Roisman, recuses himself from VT Yankee sale docket. (He has done fine legal work fighting for the public in nuclear power cases.) 

    A Yankee a senior radiation protection technician deliberately did not check the functionality of personnel contamination monitors for eight months in 2016. Entergy says the staffer has been fired and that it was an isolated incident. The NRC said, okay, write a report, and gee, be sure it doesn’t happen again!

    August:

    Entergy & NorthStar expand request to seal documents from other parties to the sale and the public eye.

    NRC gives two thumbs up to moving fuel into casks, after an inspection visit in May and another in July.

    September:

    Two Native American tribes, the Elnu Abenaki tribe of southern Vermont and Missisquoi Abenaki, filed for party status with PUC on the sale and future use of the land. Party status was granted at a later date.

    State approved a reduction in the “protected area” of Vermont Yankee site, from what was 10 acres to cover only the plant’s two fuel storage pads and a new central alarm station building, a little over one acre. Entergy will build security fences, etc.

    October:

    NorthStar and Entergy ask PUC to exclude testimony filed by Ray Shadis and Arnie Gundersen on behalf of New England Coalition.

    Consultants  hired by the PUC say that documentation of non-radiological contamination  is incomplete and inadequate. Surprises could lie ahead.

    The State worries that NorthStar would use explosives to demolish a radiated building, which would spread radiation.

    November:

    Entergy said on-site environmental testing underground could cause radiological and nonradiological contamination to spread, and damage pipes (which they had claimed did not exist in 2010).

    Infiltration of tritiated water slowed to 200 to 300 gallons a day, after sealing the foundation of the large turbine building. After closure in December 2014, about 2,500 to 3,000 gallons a day of water was being irradiated by the building. More than 623,000 gallons of water have been shipped to Tennessee for treatment and disposal, at a cost of $2.5 million.

    December:

    Entergy made its final $5 million payment into the $30 million site restoration fund created by the settlement deal with the state after closure.

    The Public Utility Commission hired an outside consultant; Entergy squawked and balked, then withdrew objections.