Entergy’s VY sale may take longer than planned

  • The containment building and the turbine building of the now decommissioned Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, VT, January 25, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Rutland Herald
Monday, February 20, 2017

VERNON, Vt. — An Entergy Nuclear official said while the company and NorthStar Group has asked federal regulators for a decision on the proposed sale of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant by the end of 2017, the more realistic target date was further out than that.

Joseph Lynch, senior government affairs spokesman for Entergy, said last week that the sides are hoping to have the agreement wrapped up by the end of next year.

“You don’t tell the NRC, you ask for a date,” Lynch said. “The ultimate goal is to have the sale completed by the end of 2018,” he said, including approval from the state of Vermont.

“We’d like to do it as soon as possible,” he said.

NorthStar, an industrial demolition company, has created a partnership with a French company that has experience decommissioning commercial nuclear reactors. NorthStar’s experience is primarily with university-based reactors.

NorthStar spokesman John Jackson did not return a call seeking comment about the joint filing with Entergy and the NRC.

Lynch said he expected the revised post-shutdown plan, which is being prepared by NorthStar, wouldn’t be submitted for another five or six weeks.

The NRC has said the Entergy-NorthStar plan was the “first-of-its-kind” because a demolition company would end up owning a nuclear reactor, rather than a utility company.

He said Entergy did not follow a similar sale and repurchase plan adopted by other nuclear power plants undergoing decommissioning, specifically, the Zion nuclear plant in Illinois and a plant in La Crosse, Wis. He said NorthStar had made the proposal that included the permanent ownership.

Lynch said the proposed sale to NorthStar would not include real estate that Entergy owns in Brattleboro, specifically its former corporate headquarters on Rope Ferry Road, nor its training center next door. He said both of those properties had already been on the market for a while.