Morning Briefing - December 31, 2019
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December 31, 2019

Holtec Projects $2.3 Billion Price Tag for Indian Point Decommissioning

By ExchangeMonitor

Holtec International believes it can complete decommissioning of the three nuclear reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center in upstate New York in 12 to 15 years at a cost of $2.3 billion, according to a new filing with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Power company Entergy said in April it would sell the Buchanan, N.Y., plant to the New Jersey energy technology specialist. That will require the NRC to approve the transfer of Indian Point’s reactor and spent-fuel storage licenses, which the companies hope will happen by May 31, 2021, Holtec said in its post-shutdown decommissioning activities report (PSDAR).

In the PSDAR, Holtec said it would begin active decommissioning (DECON) immediately upon taking possession of the property.

“The plan described in this PSDAR and the cost estimate provided in Enclosure 1 reflect HDI’s current decommissioning plan resulting in obtaining NRC issuance of a license amendment reducing the IP1, 2 & 3 licensed area to the [independent spent fuel storage installation] and permitting partial site release within 12 years of sale closure and license transfer,” the Dec. 19 document says. “While the cost estimate presented herein is based on a 12-year schedule for partial site release, HDI expects that the cost estimates would bound a project schedule supporting partial site release out to 15 years.”

Reactor Unit 1 at Indian Point was retired in 1974 and subsequently underwent limited decommissioning. Entergy plans to shut down Unit 2 by April 30, 2020, and Unit 3 by April 30, 2021. The joint Entergy-Holtec license transfer application was submitted to the NRC in November.

The PSDAR breaks down the decommissioning cost estimate for each reactor, divided by three main categories of cleanup: license termination, spent fuel management, and site restoration.

Work on Unit 1 is estimated to cost $598.2 million: $485 million for license termination, $72.4 million for spent fuel management, and $40.8 million for site restoration. The total expense projection for Unit 2 is $701.8 million: $469.5 million for license termination, $188.3 million for spent fuel management, and $44.1 million for site restoration. Finally, decommissioning Unit 3 is estimated at just over $1 billion: $583.2 million for license termination, $371.4 million for spent fuel management, and $47.8 million for site restoration.

The work would be funded by the decommissioning trust for each reactor, which would pass to Holtec once the sale is complete.