Provisional agreement reached on Indian Point decommissioning

Regional News

Indian Point Energy Center, Buchanan, NY (photo: Entergy Nuclear)

BUCHANAN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York Attorney General’s Office and energy company Holtec International have reached a provisional agreement regarding the decommissioning and clean up of the Indian Point nuclear power facility. The facility’s last reactor is due to cease operations at the end of April.

The agreement followed a petition filed by Attorney General James in 2020, which argued the license transfer violated NRC rules and called for a public hearing regarding her office’s concerns. When the petition was thrown out in January, the Attorney General responded with a lawsuit.

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Attorney General James said that once it is fully approved, the agreement will: “result in a safer, faster, and more thorough decommissioning process that exceeds stringent federal standards.”

“We have worked hard to ensure that Indian Point is dismantled and cleaned up responsibly and safely.

Once fully approved, this agreement will result in a safer, faster, and more thorough decommissioning process that exceeds stringent federal standards. We will continue to work diligently to see this closure through with an eye toward the safety of millions of New Yorkers.”

Attorney General Letitia James

Portions of three decommissioning trust funds, totaling around $2.4 billion, are being used to fund the project. The trusts were funded through the electricity bills of New Yorkers.

Due to the level of contamination on the site, concerns were raised over how adequate the funding was when Holtec estimated that it will spend more than $630 million for spent fuel management alone. NRC regulations require to nuclear facilities establish and maintain funding to pay for facility decommissioning following the closure, which led to the Attorney General’s lawsuits.

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Once approved, the agreement will transfer ownership of the facility to Holtec. The company will then take responsibility for the decommissioning and remediation of the facility and site. Holtec also has to adhere to a number of financial and administrative provisions including:

  • Maintaining a minimum balance of no less than $400 million in the Decommissioning Trust Fund for 10 years following the Transaction Closing Date;
  • Maintaining a minimum balance of no less than $360 million in the Decommissioning Trust Fund at partial site release from the NRC for costs related to waste management and radiological clean up of the site;
  • Requiring Holtec to return 50 percent of the money it recovers from the Department of Energy (DOE) for spent fuel management costs to the Decommissioning Trust Fund;
  • Conducting site restoration and remediation under an order on consent with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which will oversee the hazardous materials clean up at Indian Point, including through the use of an on-site monitor;
  • Providing funds for state and local emergency management and response; and
  • Providing financial and project reporting to the state and the public through a website and other channels to ensure transparency regarding project status and costs.

The proposal is now going to the New York State Public Service Commission for final approval. As part of the agreement, the Office of the Attorney General, Riverkeeper, the Town of Cortlandt, and the Hendrick Hudson School District will withdraw their lawsuits against the NRC, which are currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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