Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station Decommissioning

Joint Petition of NorthStar and Entergy companies to transfer ownership of Vermont Yankee (PUC Docket 8880)

In December 2016, NorthStar Decommissioning Holdings, LLC (NorthStar) and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy) (together, “Joint Petitioners”) filed a joint petition for Commission approval of the sale of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station and transfer of the facility’s Certificate of Public Good from Entergy to NorthStar.

The Joint Petition proposed that NorthStar, as the new owner, would complete radiological decommissioning and restoration of the facility site as early as 2026, decades earlier than Entergy’s current plan for decommissioning the site. The Joint Petition also requested that the Commission approve site restoration standards for the site, as well as other ancillary approvals.

On March 2, 2018, after several rounds of pre-filed testimony and discovery, Joint Petitioners, along with ANR, DPS, AGO, VDH, and other parties (with the exception of Conservation Law Foundation), entered into a negotiated Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Joint Petition, and asked the PUC to approve the sale and transfer as modified by the terms of the MOU.

Among other requirements, the MOU includes a more robust package of financial assurances to ensure that the site will be decommissioned and restored in a timely and protective manner and sets specific standards for clean-up and restoration of the site. 

A three-day hearing on the petition and the provisions of the MOU took place in May. On October 11, 2018, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an order approving the sale and transfer of the NRC license for the VY Station to NorthStar. On December 6, 2018, the PUC issued its own order approving the sale and transfer of the license from Entergy to NorthStar, and an amended CPG to NorthStar. The PUC’s order adopted the provisions of the MOU between the Joint Petitioners and other parties in full.

The order approves the first transaction of a post-operating nuclear power station of this kind and may serve as a model for the transfer and clean-up of defunct nuclear power plants in the future. The PUC order also emphasizes the cooperation of the Joint Petitioners, State agencies, and other parties to reach an agreement on the terms of the sale, and states that “[t]he collaborative efforts that led to the MOU provide a substantial and realistic basis for similar cooperation, transparency, and productive consultations during the decommissioning and site restoration process.” The Commission assigned the proceeding case number 8880. 

The sale and transfer of the VY Station occurred on January 11, 2019. The VY Station site activities will commence in 2019. The VY Station site activities will begin in early 2019. In December 2016, Joint Petitioners NorthStar Decommissioning Holdings, LLC (NorthStar) and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy) filed with the Vermont Public Utility Commission for approval of a transfer of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station’s Certificate of Public Good from Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC to NorthStar in order to decommission the Vermont Yankee Station. 

More information can be found below:

To see filings made in case number 8880, including testimony from the Agency of Natural Resources, visit the Vermont Public Utility Commission’s electronic filing and case management system, ePUC, and search for case number 8880. Public Comments regarding this proceeding may be submitted through ePUC. For guidance on navigating ePUC, visit the Public Utility Commission's ePUC Information page.

Questions?

Media inquiries or questions about the MOU and Settlement Agreement may be directed to Jim Porter, Director of the Public Advocacy Division at the Vermont Department of Public Service, at 802-828-4003.

Julie Moore
Agency Secretary

Peter Walke
Deputy Secretary

1 National Life Drive
Davis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3901

(802) 828-1294