Entergy plans to sell Vermont Yankee to decommissioning firm

VERNON — Entergy Nuclear announced Tuesday morning that it had reached an agreement to sell the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, a move the company said would move up decommissioning of the Vernon reactor by decades.

ent_logo_v_rb_4cThe company also announced that it was moving up the transfer of the spent nuclear fuel held in Yankee’s spent fuel pool to dry cask storage by two years, from 2020 to 2018.

The transfer to NorthStar Group Services of New York City has to be approved by both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the state of Vermont’s Public Service Board.

Gov. Peter Shumlin immediately praised the news, but injected a word of caution.

“Today’s announcement that Entergy is planning to file for approval at the Public Service Board to transfer ownership of the Vermont Yankee site to a third party offers the potential for an accelerated decommissioning of the plant,” Shumlin said in a prepared statement, issued simultaneously to the Entergy announcement.

“This is something my administration has advocated for, and as a governor who is from Windham County, I can tell you that it would be a major positive for the economy and for jobs in southern Vermont.”

But Shumlin injected a word of caution. “I want to be clear that Vermont needs an open and transparent look at the financial capabilities of the buyer to be able to complete the decommissioning at Vermont Yankee,” the governor added.

susan.smallheer@rutlandherald.com

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