Morning Briefing - August 16, 2018
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August 16, 2018

Oyster Creek License Transfer Application Expected to Reach NRC This Week

By ExchangeMonitor

Exelon and Holtec international plan by Friday to submit their application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the transfer of the license for the Oyster Creek Generating Station in New Jersey.

The Chicago-based power company aims to sell the single-reactor facility in Lacey Township to Holtec, which would then be responsible for decommissioning and spent fuel management at the property.

They hope to obtain NRC approval for the license transfer by May 2019. The sale would then be sealed by the following month, Holtec and Exelon corporate officials told NRC staffers during a Wednesday briefing. Agency officials were noncommittal on how fast the NRC could process and possibly approve the  application.

Oyster Creek is due to end operations in mid-September after nearly 50 years in service. The planned sale to Holtec, a Camden, N.J., energy technology company, was announced on July 31. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

Holtec subsidiary Holtec Decommissioning International would become the licensed operator of Oyster Creek. Meanwhile, another subsidiary, Oyster Creek Environmental Protection LLC, would become the licensed owner of the site. Holtec plans to hire Comprehensive Decommissioning International to manage decommissioning and spent fuel storage. CDI is a new joint venture by Holtec and the Montreal-based engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin.

Originally, Exelon planned to place the plant into SAFSTOR, a mode of decommissioning in which the shuttered reactor is maintained under monitoring, with full cleanup not required for 60 years.

Holtec instead plans to move up completion of decommissioning from 2077 to 2027. Full off-site transfer of the plant’s used fuel would move up from 2024 under the original Exelon plan to 2021 under Holtec, according to a briefing document presented Wednesday to the NRC. However, that would be dependent on establish of a location for either interim storage or permanent disposal of U.S. reactor fuel.

Based on March 2017 filings with the NRC, Oyster Creek had $888.5 million in its decommissioning trust as of Dec. 31, 2016. The NRC expected minimum decommissioning needs are $1.083 billion for Oyster Creek.