The owner of Vermont Yankee says its wants to begin work soon to speed up the decommissioning of the shuttered nuclear reactor.
Entergy Vermont Yankee sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last week asking them to approve the schedule change which would allow the company to prepare for dismantling and decontaminating the nuclear reactor.
Entergy wants to sell Vermont Yankee to the industrial demolition company, NorthStar Services, and NorthStar says it can tear down and decommission the plant decades ahead of the original schedule.
VY government affairs manager Joe Lynch says Entergy wants to start the engineering work and make upgrades to a nearby rail spur so NorthStar can begin its work if the deal goes through.
"In order for NorthStar to start work right away, we kind of backed it up a bit and said this is about the time that we should be starting this work," Lynch said. "We're doing it now because we are anticipating that the transaction will be approved in accordance with the schedule we requested of both the NRC and the state of Vermont Public Utility Commission."
In 2014 Entergy submitted its Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report which laid out its work schedule, and the company said the work would be performed in 2068-69.
Entergy says the proposed prep work will cost about $30 million, and the company says there is enough money in its Decommissioning Trust Fund to cover the expedited schedule.
Clarification 12:15 p.m. 09/06/17 Entergy says its spokesman Joe Lynch misstated the company's expectations about the state and federal regulatory processes in this VPR story. In a prepared statement a company spokeswoman said, "Entergy respects the federal and state review processes relating to the proposed sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar Group Services. It is pursuing the pre-closing work at Vermont Yankee since it wants to facilitate a prompt decommissioning schedule if the transaction is approved in accordance with the schedule requested of both the NRC and the Vermont Public Utility Commission."