Morning Briefing - December 07, 2017
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December 07, 2017

Entergy Plans $4M Disbursement from Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Trust

By ExchangeMonitor

Power company Entergy last month notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of plans for a new $4 million disbursement from its decommissioning trust for the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

“The disbursement request is expected to include, among other things, site-specific decommissioning costs related to licensing/emergency planning contractor costs, insurance and property tax,” according to a Nov. 21 letter, posted Wednesday on the NRC website, from Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Director John Boyle and Bank of New York Mellon Managing Director David Ryan to several NRC officials.

Bank of New York Mellon is the trustee for the decommissioning trust for Vermont Yankee, which closed in December 2014. The master trust agreement requires the bank to give 30 days advance notice to the NRC of any disbursement or payment from the account. The head of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation can block a disbursement, but the agency has never notified Entergy of plans to do so.

Entergy and Bank of New York Mellon said the $4 million disbursement is expected to be made 30 days following the date of the letter.

Entergy is seeking state and federal regulatory approval to sell Vermont Yankee to NorthStar Group Services, a New York City company that would then take charge of decommissioning the nuclear power plant. The prospective buyer says it can finish the job as early as 2026 at a cost of $811.5 million, plus $30.6 million in pre-closing expenses. The decommissioning trust, which would transfer to NorthStar with the sale, stood at $577.9 million as of Oct. 31.

The companies have asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to complete its review of their license transfer application by the end of this year, and NorthStar has said it hopes Vermont Public Utility Commission will wrap up its review of the planned sale by the end of the first quarter of 2018. Neither regulatory agency has committed to those timelines.

NorthStar and Entergy hope to complete the sale by the end of 2018.