Entergy Vermont Yankee says it wants to move its spent nuclear fuel into dry cask storage in 2017, two years earlier than originally planned.
The company says this will allow it to transfer all of the spent fuel before 2020.
Vermont Yankee Site Vice President Chris Wamser says the company that manufactures the dry fuel storage equipment indicated recently that it would be able to deliver the storage casks ahead of schedule.
And he says VY and the company learned a few lessons during the construction of the first storage pad.
"Previously we performed, I'll say, the labor of moving the fuel ourselves. And what is different now is that we've asked them to perform really all the services," Wamser says. "And so there is a little bit of a learning curve, I think, in what that entailed for them to provide all of the service; manufacture the casks, bring them to the site, coordinate the fuel campaigns to move the fuel out of the spent fuel pool into the casks and on to the pad."
Vermont Yankee closed in December, 2014 and moving the spent fuel is the first step in the decommissioning process.
VY already has one storage pad on the Vernon site, and the company is waiting for the Public Service Board to issue a certificate of public good for the second pad.
Wamser also says the company will not use money, from its Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Fund to pay for the approximately $145 million project.
Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia said the state supported both the accelerated schedule and the company's commitment not to use money from the decommissioning fund.
"This is good news for Vermont and Vermonters, and for the opportunities it presents in terms of moving forward on the decommissioning sooner," Recchia says. "So I'm quite excited about it, and we're grateful to Entergy fronting that with a line of credit. We think that's appropriate and we appreciate that."
Vermont Yankee hopes to receive its certificate of public good for the second pad in early 2016, and begin construction soon after.
The company expects to have the second pad fully constructed the following year.