NorthStar on Friday took ownership of the Vernon plant, marking the beginning of an accelerated decommissioning project. Entergy had owned the plant since 2002.
With regulatory approvals in place, NorthStar’s CEO says he’ll push forward with a decommissioning project in 2019. The company already has performed millions of dollars worth of preparatory work.
The state Public Utility Commission says the transfer of the idled Vernon nuclear plant from Entergy to NorthStar is in the public interest. NorthStar will undertake an accelerated decommissioning project.
But regulators’ lengthy deliberations mean that, even if the Public Utility Commission approves the deal, the sale to NorthStar won’t be finalized this year.
The layoffs came at the Vernon plant that once employed more than 600. By the end of the year, only eight people will remain.
The director of Windham Regional Commission will serve as the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel’s new chair. But the panel still is wrestling with questions about its role and funding.
The federal regulator’s report on the 14-month project shows ‘no findings of safety significance’ in connection with the transfer of radioactive spent fuel into sealed casks.
The project’s completion clears the way for the possible sale of the idled Vernon nuclear plant and another round of job reductions.
The Department of Energy can’t say when spent nuclear fuel will leave the Vernon plant, and the state’s congressional delegation is conflicted on fuel-storage legislation.
Entergy says it has spent about $3.5 million to ship away tainted water and nearly $2 million to slow leakage into the plant’s turbine building.
Regulatory deliberations on the idled nuclear plant’s sale could extend into September. But the owner and proposed buyer say the sale can close in 2019 if need be.
The legislation supports national storage options for spent fuel that’s marooned at plants like Vermont Yankee. But some say those solutions are not fair or workable.
The longtime chair’s decision to step down is prompting debate about how the committee is funded and what its future role might be.
The New York company is answering concerns expressed by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which must approve the proposed sale of the idled Vernon nuclear plant.