(STL.News) – Entergy Corporation and Holtec International, through their affiliates, jointly filed a License Transfer Application today with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, requesting approval for the transfer of the NRC licenses for the Indian Point Energy Center to Holtec after the last unit permanently shuts down by April 30, 2021. Holtec plans to initiate decommissioning at Indian Point, following regulatory approvals and transaction close, as much as 40 years sooner than if Entergy continued to own the units.
“Holtec’s plan to accelerate the decommissioning schedule provides the potential for site redevelopment decades sooner than if Entergy continued to own the facility, which is good news for the local community,” said Chris Bakken, Entergy Executive Vice President Nuclear Operations and Chief Nuclear Officer. “Holtec plans to begin the decommissioning process promptly upon taking ownership, and as part of the agreement between the companies, will provide job opportunities for more than 300 of our current employees who want to remain in the region and continue to work at the site.”
The companies asked the NRC to approve the License Transfer Application by November 2020 to facilitate a timely transaction closing targeted for May 2021, which will benefit the community, employees and other interested stakeholders.
“This key regulatory filing is an important first step to beginning a new future for Indian Point and the local community,” said Holtec’s President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kris Singh. “By beginning decommissioning earlier, Holtec will be able to maintain and create new jobs and work towards releasing the plant site earlier so it can be repurposed and generate replacement tax revenue on an earlier schedule.”
The NRC previously approved applications to transfer the licenses for the shut down Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (New Jersey) from Exelon Generation to Holtec and for the shut down Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (Massachusetts) from Entergy to Holtec for decommissioning.
In addition to the federal filing, the companies today filed a petition with the New York Public Service Commission requesting a ruling disclaiming PSC jurisdiction or abstaining from review of the proposed transaction, or, in the alternative, an order approving the proposed transaction.
Holtec International is a global leader in used nuclear fuel management, with more than 100 nuclear plants relying on its nuclear fuel storage technology design and implementation. Holtec has contracted with Comprehensive Decommissioning International, LLC to perform the decommissioning, including demolition and site cleanup, at Oyster Creek, Pilgrim, and Indian Point. CDI is a joint venture company of Holtec International and SNC-Lavalin. The decommissioning experience held by Holtec and SNC-Lavalin gives CDI more than half a century of managing complex nuclear projects in the commercial and government sectors worldwide.
Holtec’s plan for decommissioning will result in the release for re-use of portions of the site in the 2030s, with the exception of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation – the area where spent nuclear fuel is safely stored in dry casks until the U.S. Department of Energy transfers the spent fuel offsite. As part of its plan, Holtec expects to move all of the Indian Point spent nuclear fuel into dry casks within about three years following facility shutdown in 2021. Holtec has a pending application with the NRC for a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility in New Mexico, which could eventually store spent nuclear fuel from Indian Point and other U.S. nuclear power plants.