Indian Point sale completed as decommissioning under way

01 June 2021

The sale of the Indian Point Energy Center by Entergy Corporation to subsidiaries of Holtec International has been completed. The plant, which shut down at the end of April after 45 years in operation, is the third project in Holtec's decommissioning fleet.

Indian Point (Image: Holtec)

Entergy and Holtec announced the sale of Indian Point in April 2019, and the transfer of the plant's licences to Holtec was approved in November 2020 by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the New York State Public Service Commission in May this year. Holtec Indian Point, LLC now becomes the owner and Holtec Decommissioning International, LLC (HDI) the licence holder and decommissioning operator.

Holtec said Indian Point will benefit from the company's integrated fleet management structure that unifies an array of safety, operation, quality assurance and management procedures and practices which are continuously informed by lessons learned from decommissioning activities across all of its sites. Holtec is already carrying out expedited decommissioning at Oyster Creek in New Jersey and Pilgrim in Massachusetts, and the company said it plans to welcome Palisades and Big Rock Point - both in Michigan - to its fleet in a proposed equity transaction next year. Palisades, an 850 MWe (net) pressurised water reactor, is expected to close in Spring 2022. Decommissioning of Big Rock Point's 67 MWe boiling water reactor was completed in 2006; an independent used fuel storage facility remains at the site.

Holtec's decommissioning plans for Indian Point include moving used nuclear fuel from pools into a dry storage system, and dismantling and packaging highly activated parts from the nuclear reactors in high capacity containers. This will remove virtually all of the radiation source from the plant's containment enclosure, Holtec said. The company aims within 8 months of reactor shutdown to optimise the storage configuration of used fuel in the pools so that the fuel pools become independent of their cooling systems, and to place all the used nuclear fuel in its HI-STORM dry storage systems in less than 30 months after the plant's shutdown. The company recently completed the removal of all of the used fuel from storage pools at Oyster Creek in a record 32 months.

Entergy chairman and CEO Leo Denault thanked Indian Point's employees for over 20 years of safe, secure and reliable plant operation under the company's ownership. Holtec has previously said it will hire more than 300 current Entergy employees for the first phase of decommissioning. "With our previously announced agreement for the post-shutdown sale of Palisades nuclear power plant in 2022, we remain on track to complete our exit from nuclear power operations in merchant markets," he said.

Entergy purchased Indian Point 3 in 2000 and unit 2, along with the permanently shut down unit 1, in 2001. The company announced in 2017 that it would close both operating units pursuant to a settlement agreement with the State of New York, and Indian Point 2 shut down in April 2020. The company has described Indian Point as a "workhorse" for the south-eastern New York electrical grid, generating around 25% of the power consumed annually in New York City and the lower Hudson Valley.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News