Morning Briefing - April 16, 2019
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April 16, 2019

Holtec Aims to Buy Another Retiring Nuclear Plant

By ExchangeMonitor

Holtec International said Tuesday it aims to buy a fourth nuclear power plant that is on the verge of retirement, the Indian Point Energy Center in upstate New York.

The New Jersey energy technology company and Indian Point owner Entergy announced the planned deal in largely identical press releases Tuesday morning.

If the sale goes through, Holtec would assume ownership and responsibility for decommissioning of the three reactors at Indian Point, along with their respective decommissioning trusts. The companies hope to complete the deal in the third quarter of 2021, after the retirement of the last two operational reactors at Indian Point.

Reactor Unit 2 is scheduled to close in April 2020, followed by Unit 3 in April 2021. Unit 1 has been shuttered since 1974.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will have to approve transfer of Indian Point’s reactor licenses for the deal to proceed. Some form of regulatory approval will also be required from the New York state Public Service Commission and Department of Environmental Conservation.

Upon closure and taking ownership, Holtec would begin decommissioning Indian Point decades earlier than Entergy had planned, according to the press release. The company expects to lay out a detailed schedule in the fourth quarter of this year in decommissioning documents submitted to the NRC.

Holtec this year hopes to receive NRC approval and acquire Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts, scheduled for closure by June 1, and Exelon’s Oyster Creek Generating Station in New Jersey, which closed last September. It also intends to buy Entergy’s Palisades Power Plant in Michigan after its retirement in 2022. In all cases, the sale price has not been released.

As with those plants, decommissioning at Indian Point would be carried out by Comprehensive Decommissioning International, a joint venture of Holtec and Montreal-based engineering company SNC-Lavalin.