Since the details of Entergy’s plan to sell the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to an expert decommissioning firm were made public earlier this month, there have been some misinformed media reports and public statements claiming that buyer NorthStar has no experience decommissioning nuclear power plants. This is simply untrue.
Entergy has stated publicly since the closure of Vermont Yankee that it is in the business of generating electricity, not decommissioning. On the other hand, NorthStar’s core business is decommissioning and deconstruction. It has completed more than 300 power plant projects in the last 15 years, including several nuclear reactors at universities and government sites, and nuclear research and laboratory facilities. (For more about the proposed buyer, see the Vermont Energy Partnership’s Nov. 22, 2016, blog post, “Who Is NorthStar?”.)
Furthermore, the entire Vermont Yankee project team of NorthStar and its sub-contracting partners Areva, Burns & McDonnell, and Waste Control Systems have decommissioning experience at these New England decommissioned nuclear power plants: Maine Yankee, Yankee Rowe, Millstone 1, and Connecticut Yankee.
The industry of commercial nuclear power plant decommissioning has been in existence since the 1990s and is now a growing business with the closure of several plants across this country and worldwide. In NorthStar, Entergy has found an experienced, qualified and capable buyer.
Guy Page, communications director for Vermont Energy Partnership