Entergy to sell Pilgrim, Palisades nuclear power plants to Holtec for decommissioning

Entergy has agreed to sell the 680MW Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts and the 800MW Palisades Power Plant in Michigan to a subsidiary of Holtec International, the company responsible for the decommissioning of the two US nuclear power plants.

In this regard, Entergy will be selling the subsidiaries that own the two nuclear power plants – Entergy Nuclear Generation, the owner of Pilgrim, and Entergy Nuclear Palisades, the owner of Palisades.

The sale of the aging nuclear power plants to a Holtec International subsidiary for nominal cash consideration is expected to accelerate the decommissioning process.

The transactions include the transfer of the licenses, spent fuel, and Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts (NDTs) along with the site of the decommissioned 67MW Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant near Charlevoix, Michigan, where only the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) remains, said Entergy.

Entergy chairman and CEO Leo Denault said: “Transferring our Pilgrim and Palisades plants to Holtec, with its vast experience and innovative use of technology, will lead to their decommissioning faster than if they were to remain under Entergy’s ownership.

“Earlier decommissioning benefits the surrounding communities.”

Subject to timely regulatory approvals, Holtec anticipates to launch decommissioning of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in 2020, with all major decommissioning work to be wrapped up in nearly eight years.

Holtec will develop a timeline for the decommissioning of Palisades Power Plant closer to its shutdown. For both the nuclear power plants, the decommissioning company is likely to move all of the spent nuclear fuel out of the spent fuel pools and into dry cask storage in about three years of the plants’ respective shutdowns.

According to Entergy, Holtec is finalizing contracts with Comprehensive Decommissioning International (CDI) for the decommissioning of the two nuclear power plants. The decommissioning is to be carried out by a newly-formed joint venture between Holtec and SNC-Lavalin, and will involve demolition and cleanup of the power plants.

Holtec president and CEO Kris Singh said: “We intend to deploy cutting-edge technologies to carry out the deconstruction of the plant structures with minimal impact on the environment and maximum personnel safety which are our core competencies.”

The completion of the sale of the nuclear power plants will be based on meeting of closing conditions, which include approvals from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the license transfers.