Entergy withdraws about 10% of decommissioning trust fund

Rutland Herald
Wednesday, March 02, 2016
*Archive Article*
BRATTLEBORO — Entergy Nuclear has withdrawn a little more than 10 percent of Vermont Yankee’s $665 million decommissioning trust fund in the first year of decommissioning.

Joseph Lynch, an Entergy Nuclear spokesman, said the decommissioning effort was ahead of schedule and ahead of its budget.

Lynch had said late last year the effort was $5 million below budget. Lynch said the fund at the end of 2014 was $664.6 million, and at the end of 2015, the fund stood at $595.4 million.

Of the withdrawals, $58 million went toward decommissioning activities at the Vernon plant, and $16 million toward the trust expenses and taxes, and it reflected $5 million in income, said Entergy Nuclear spokesman Marty Cohn.

Entergy estimated in 2014, shortly before shutdown of Vermont Yankee’s nuclear reactor on Dec. 29, 2014, that it would cost $1.24 billion to decommission the Vernon plant.

Entergy Nuclear shut down the plant because of energy market conditions and said Vermont Yankee was losing money.

Lynch assessed the status of the trust fund in a Tuesday broadcast appearance produced by Brattleboro Community TV as part of Entergy’s monthly program “SAFSTOR Matters.”

Lynch said $69 million had been withdrawn from the trust in 2015, either to cover the costs of decommissioning or drops in the stock and bond markets which the fund is invested. Additionally, Lynch said, the trust removed funds to cover “fees and taxes” associated with the trust.

Cohn said Entergy would file a detailed report on the trust fund with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of March. Nuclear power plants that are in decommissioning are required to make annual reports.

But Lynch, in his television appearance, said the “trust looks healthy,” and expenses were “below where we expected to be.”