Entergy and Holtec File Request to Transfer Palisades Nuclear Plant Post-Shutdown, Holtec to Complete Decommissioning Decades Sooner than Entergy
December 23, 2020 at 16:40 PM EST
COVERT, Mich., Dec. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Entergy Corporation and Holtec International, through their affiliates, jointly submitted a License Transfer Application today with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requesting approval to transfer the NRC licenses for the Palisades Nuclear Plant to Holtec following its shutdown and permanent defueling in the spring of 2022.
"Holtec's plan to safely accelerate the Palisades decommissioning schedule by more than four decades provides the potential for site redevelopment much sooner than if Entergy continued to own the facility after shutdown," said Chris Bakken, Entergy Executive Vice President Nuclear Operations and Chief Nuclear Officer. "The completion of major decommissioning activities on an accelerated timeframe is important to the local community, which could benefit from economic opportunity at the site."
Holtec's filings detail its plan to complete the dismantling, decontamination, and remediation of Palisades to NRC standards by 2041, more than 40 years sooner than if Entergy continued to own the facility and selected the maximum 60-year NRC SAFSTOR option for decommissioning. As part of the agreement between the companies, Holtec will provide job opportunities for around 260 of Entergy's employees who currently work at Palisades. Entergy previously announced a plan to find a position within its company for qualified employees who are willing to relocate.
"This key regulatory filing sets in motion a new beginning for Palisades and the local community," said Holtec's President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Kris Singh. "As a proven leader in decommissioning, with a dynamic fleet of projects around the nation and the globe, Palisades' neighbors and stakeholders are assured a strong and steadfast commitment to safety, precision, and efficiency as our Holtec team decommissions this facility and brings a new economic future to the region."
The application also requests approval of the license transfer of Entergy's already-decommissioned Big Rock Point facility near Charlevoix, Mich., where only an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation remains.
Following NRC regulatory approval and transaction close, Holtec will assume ownership of the Palisades site, its Nuclear Decommissioning Trust fund, real property, and used nuclear fuel. It will also assume ownership of the Big Rock Point ISFSI property and used nuclear fuel.
In addition to today's License Transfer Application, Holtec submitted to the NRC a Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report and Decommissioning Cost Estimate, which describe Holtec's decommissioning plan, schedule, and cost estimate of planned decommissioning activities for Palisades. Holtec also submitted an exemption request to allow the use of the Palisades NDT for spent fuel management and site restoration activities.
Holtec's schedule calls for the movement of all spent nuclear fuel from the onsite spent fuel pool to dry cask storage on the Palisades ISFSI by 2025. After all spent fuel is safely moved to the ISFSI, major decommissioning work will commence in approximately 2035, allowing the NDT balance to grow.
If the transaction is completed, Palisades and Big Rock Point would join Holtec's growing fleet of decommissioning plants. The NRC previously approved License Transfer Applications for the shutdown Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey from Exelon Corporation to Holtec and for the shutdown Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts from Entergy to Holtec, and the transfer of the Indian Point Energy Center from Entergy to Holtec following shutdown of its remaining unit (Indian Point Unit 3), which is scheduled for April 2021. In all cases, the NRC concluded that Holtec affiliate Holtec Decommissioning International met the regulatory, legal, technical, and financial requirements necessary to decommission those facilities.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed elsewhere in this news release and in Entergy's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Entergy's other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; (b) uncertainties associated with (1) rate proceedings, formula rate plans, and other cost recovery mechanisms, including the risk that costs may not be recoverable to the extent anticipated by the utilities and (2) implementation of the ratemaking effects of changes in law; (c) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of major storms and recover related restoration costs; (d) risks associated with operating nuclear facilities, including plant relicensing, operating, and regulatory costs and risks; (e) changes in decommissioning trust fund values or earnings or in the timing or cost of decommissioning Entergy's nuclear plant sites; (f) legislative and regulatory actions and risks and uncertainties associated with claims or litigation by or against Entergy and its subsidiaries; (g) risks and uncertainties associated with executing on business strategies, including strategic transactions that Entergy or its subsidiaries may undertake and the risk that any such transaction may not be completed as and when expected and the risk that the anticipated benefits of the transaction may not be realized; (h) effects of changes in federal, state, or local laws and regulations and other governmental actions or policies, including changes in monetary, fiscal, tax, environmental, or energy policies; (i) the effects of changes in commodity markets, capital markets, or economic conditions; (j) impacts from a terrorist attack, cybersecurity threats, data security breaches, or other attempts to disrupt Entergy's business or operations, and/or other catastrophic events; (k) the direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Entergy and its customers; and (l) the effects of technological change, including the costs, pace of development and commercialization of new and emerging technologies.
Holtec International is a privately held energy technology company with operation centers in Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in the U.S., and globally in Brazil, Dubai, India, South Africa, Spain, U.K., and Ukraine. Holtec's principal business concentration is in the nuclear power industry. Holtec has played a preeminent role since the 1980s by densifying wet storage in nuclear plants' spent fuel pools deferring the need for and expense of alternative measures by as much as two decades at over 110 reactor units in the U.S. and abroad. Dry storage and transport of nuclear fuel is another area in which Holtec is recognized as the foremost innovator and industry leader with a dominant market share and an active market presence in eighteen countries. Among the Company's pioneering endeavors are the world's first below-ground Consolidated Interim Storage Facility being developed in New Mexico and a 160-Megawatt walk away safe small modular reactor, SMR-160. The SMR-160 is developed to bring cost competitive carbon-free energy to all corners of the earth including water-challenged regions. Holtec is also a major supplier of special-purpose pressure vessels and critical-service heat exchange equipment such as air-cooled condensers, steam generators, feedwater heaters, and water-cooled condensers. Virtually all products produced by the Company are built in its three large manufacturing plants in the U.S. and one in India. Thanks to a solid record of consistent profitability and steady growth since its founding in 1986, Holtec has no history of any long-term debt and enjoys a platinum credit rating from the financial markets. Nearly 100 U.S. and international patents protect the Company's intellectual property from predation by its global competitors and lend predictable stability to its business base. To learn more about Holtec International, please visit www.holtecinternational.com.
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SOURCE Entergy Corporation