Vermont Yankee decommissioning plan submitted to NRC

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VERNON >> Entergy Vermont Yankee officially presented the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with its Post Shutdown Decommissioning Report, but it's not that much different from the draft PSDAR presented to the state in October.

"Certain numbers have been tightened up," said Martin Cohn, spokesman for the decommissioning process at the nuclear power plant in Vernon. "After reviewing the comments we received from state agencies, we were able to make some adjustments. Now it's in the hands of the NRC."

The NRC now has 90 days to respond to the document. It is expected that the NRC will schedule a public hearing to discuss the PSDAR sometime in January. Normally, the operator of a nuclear power plant has up to two years to issue its PSDAR.

"We've had the last 16 months to plan and prepare,"said Cohn.

In August 2013, Entergy announced that Vermont Yankee would cease operations at the end of 2014. In October, a site assessment study was delivered to the state of Vermont. This report was a summary of historical environmental and radiological conditions of the site, explained what activities were expected to occur as the plant transitions from an operating to decommissioning site and discussed updated cost estimates for decommissioning of the site.

Entergy selected SAFSTOR as the plant's decommissioning process. Under this option, the plant will be "mothballed" until the decommissioning trust fund has reached the level necessary to clean up the entire site. The estimated decommissioning cost is $1.24 billion in 2014 dollars, and includes costs associated with terminating the NRC operating license ($817 million), spent fuel management ($368 million) and site restoration ($57 million).

Currently, the decommissioning trust fund contains $665 million.

Entergy is asking for permission to spend $225 million from the trust fund for spent fuel management and expects to raise the remaining $143 million through external financing.

After all spent fuel is moved to on-site dry cask storage, it will remain there until the U.S. Department of Energy removes it from the site.

For more information, visit vydecommissioning.com.

To contact Bob Audette, call 802-254-2311, ext. 160.


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