Indian Point licenses to transfer to Holtec for decommissioning

November 24, 2020, 3:02PMRadwaste Solutions

Indian Point’s licenses will transfer to Holtec for decommissioning after the plant shuts down in 2021. Photo: Entergy Nuclear

The transfer of the Indian Point nuclear power plant licenses from Entergy to Holtec International, as owner, and Holtec Decommissioning International (HDI), as decommissioning operator, has been approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The license transfers follow the transfer of the licenses of the Oyster Creek nuclear plant from Exelon and the Pilgrim plant from Entergy to Holtec in mid-2019. As with the Oyster Creek and Pilgrim plants, Holtec and HDI intend to expedite the decommissioning and dismantling of Indian Point.

Indian Point’s three pressurized water reactors are located in Buchanan, N.Y., approximately 24 miles north of New York City. Units 1 and 2 have been permanently shut down, in 1974 and 2020, respectively, and Unit 3 is scheduled to be shut down in April 2021. The license transfer also includes the plant’s independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI).

The NRC order approving the license transfer, issued on November 23, is effective immediately, but the license transfer will not be finalized until after the permanent shutdown of Unit 3 and the completion of the transaction between Entergy and Holtec. At that point, the NRC will amend Indian Point’s licenses to reflect the completion of the transfer. The transfer approval is subject to the NRC’s authority to rescind, modify, or condition the transfer, based on the outcome of any subsequent hearings on the application. Several hearing requests are currently pending before the commission.

Welfare responsibility: “As the site’s incoming owner’s agent,” said Pamela B. Cowan, HDI’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, “HDI will have soup-to-nuts responsibility for the welfare of local communities and environment. We will also do our very best to create new well-paying jobs at the site in the emerging green energy technologies, such as battery storage, that are a principal business thrust for our parent, Holtec International, in this decade. We will continue our ongoing discussions with elected officials, which have been characterized by amicable and transparent dialog to further our shared goal of achieving a repurposed site that supports new jobs and increased tax revenue.”

Spent fuel: According to Holtec, the company is on target to begin transferring spent fuel from Indian Point’s spent fuel pools to the ISFSI pad in less than two and a half years after the reactor’s shutdown. This is roughly five years earlier than previously planned, Holtec said, adding, “Manufacturing of casks and canisters is proceeding at a furious pace at Holtec’s manufacturing plants in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.”

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