Morning Briefing - August 02, 2018
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August 02, 2018

Holtec to Buy Two More Power Plants for Decommissioning

By ExchangeMonitor

Holtec International said Wednesday it plans to buy two more nuclear power plants for decommissioning, in addition to the single-site acquisition announced just one day earlier.

Power company Entergy will sell its Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., and its Palisades Power Plant in Covert, Mich., after the reactors are shut down and defueled, according to a joint announcement with Holtec. The New Jersey energy technology company will also take over Entergy’s already-decommissioned Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant near Charlevoix, Mich., where the only activity is maintaining a dry fuel storage facility.

Terms of the deal were not made public. The sales include the transfer of the licenses and decommissioning trust funds for the plants. Upon taking ownership, Holtec will also be responsible for management of spent nuclear fuel at all three sites.

On Tuesday, Holtec and Exelon announced a similar sale of the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey Township, N.J.

Holtec plans to contract the decommissioning and spent fuel operations for all three facilities to Comprehensive Decommissioning International, its new joint venture with Montreal-based engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs to approve all of the license transfers.

The Oyster Creek plant is scheduled to close next month, followed by Pilgrim in 2019 and Palisades in 2022. Comprehensive Decommissioning International says it can complete each decommissioning in eight years – work at Oyster Creek is scheduled to begin in 2019, followed by Pilgrim in 2020 and Palisades at some yet-unidentified point after its closure.

“Transferring our Pilgrim and Palisades plants to Holtec, with its vast experience and innovative use of technology, will lead to their decommissioning faster than if they were to remain under Entergy’s ownership,” said Entergy Chairman and CEO Leo Denault in a news release.  “Earlier decommissioning benefits the surrounding communities.”

Based on March 2017 filings with the NRC, Oyster Creek had $888.5 million in its decommissioning trust as of Dec. 31, 2016. Pilgrim had $960.3 million and Palisades had $425.7 million as of that same date.