The Vermont Public Utility Commission on Friday rescheduled to Jan. 18 its second public hearing on the proposed sale of the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
The hearing had been scheduled for last Thursday, but was interrupted by the massive winter storm that hit the East Coast at midweek. The session is now due to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at Brattleboro Union High School in the town of Brattleboro, preceded by a 6 p.m. information session at the same location hosted by Vermont’s Public Service Department.
The information session will include a presentation by executives from Vermont Yankee owner Entergy and prospective purchaser NorthStar Group Services.
The three-member Public Utility Commission must approve the sale for it to go through. It is gearing up for a second round of depositions starting this week, followed by technical hearings.
Pending approval from the PUC and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Entergy plans by the end of 2018 to sell the nuclear plant that closed in December 2014 to NorthStar for $1,000. The New York City-based company would then be in charge of decommissioning and spent fuel management at the facility, keeping some portion of Vermont Yankee’s decommissioning trust fund (which stood at over $580 million in late 2017) when its work is done.
While Entergy and NorthStar had agreed to send representatives to the information session, they on Dec. 28 asked that the PUC notice for the originally scheduled Jan. 4 event be updated to indicate they would not be available to answer questions on the transfer of ownership. The reasoning given was that “they have filed testimony and the matter is being litigated,” the Public Service Department said in an email to the commission.
The commission said at the time it was too late to amend the notice for the Jan. 4 event. However, the notice for the Jan. 18 information session makes no mention of a question-and-answer session.