Holtec To Buy, Decommission Oyster Creek NPP

Exelon Generation, owner of the largest fleet of nuclear power plants in the United States, said that it had reached an agreement to sell the Oyster Creek Generating Station to Holtec International, which will proceed to put the retiring plant through the decommissioning process.

Oyster Creek NPPUnder the terms of the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approvals, Holtec will assume ownership of the site, real property and used nuclear fuel. As the site’s owner, Holtec will manage all site decommissioning and restoration activities.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, pending the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s and other regulatory approval, and will not impact the scheduled shutdown of Oyster Creek, as previously announced, Exelon said.

As the new owner of the plant, Holtec will contract with Comprehensive Decommissioning International, LLC (CDI) to perform the decontamination and decommissioning of the plant. CDI is a joint venture company of Holtec and SNC-Lavalin. It has its headquarters in Camden, N.J.

The companies also said CDI will offer employment to Oyster Creek decommissioning employees, effective upon the transaction closing.

Holtec plans to submit a new Oyster Creek decommissioning plan, which must be reviewed and approved by the regulators. By seeking a new plan, the public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the plan during the NRC evaluation period.

Holtec recently submitted a license application for an autonomous consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) in New Mexico to accept spent nuclear fuel from all nuclear plants in the U.S., including from Oyster Creek. Once licensed, fuel could be sent to the New Mexico CISF based upon the established use of interim storage locations by the federal government which would allow Holtec to return the full site to unrestricted use once the fuel has been transported off-site.

The funds from the site’s decommissioning trust will be transferred to Holtec upon closing and will be used by Holtec to cover the cost of the decommissioning. The trust fund was established decades ago to pay for decommissioning, and no additional funds from utility customers will be required.

In February 2018, Exelon Generation announced Oyster Creek will permanently shut down this fall at the end of its current operating cycle. Exelon Generation is required to close Oyster Creek no later than December 2019 as part of an agreement with the State of New Jersey.

Oyster Creek is located about 60 miles east of Philadelphia in Ocean County, N.J. The plant produces 636 net megawatts of zero-emission electricity at full power, enough electricity to supply 600,000 average homes.

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