Settlement Reached in Nuclear Plant Transfer Dispute


PLYMOUTH – Holtec International has reached an agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts over the challenge of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to transfer the plant’s ownership from Entergy to Holtec.

The agreement comes after months of negotiations between Holtec and the state after the NRC approved the facility ownership transfer in August. Holtec will be completing an expedited decommissioning.

Since taking ownership of the site, Holtect has initiated decommissioning of the Pilgrim site with a projected timeline for the completion of work by the end of 2027.

Holtec is currently in the process of removing all spent nuclear fuel from Pilgrim’s spent fuel pool and placing all of it on a newly constructed “Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation” by early 2022.

“When we announced our acquisition of the facility, I had stated that we looked forward to engaging state and local government officials in Massachusetts on site restoration standards and effective coordination during the decommissioning process, by finalizing this agreement it shows that we were true to our word and fulfilled our commitment,” said Dr. Kris Singh, President and CEO of Holtec International.

“That path to returning the site to a decontaminated sate, which allows us to spawn new economic activity on the property that is beneficial to both the community, and our company, has been made clearer in this agreement.”

The agreement covers many topics, including financial assurance, site restoration standards, funding commitments to state agencies, and withdrawal of contentions.

Other highlights include:

  • Withdrawal of all petitions and appeals by the Commonwealth
  • Holtec’s Commitment to meeting the Commonwealth’s radiological standard of 10 millirem for all pathways, which is 40 percent of the Federal standard of 25 millirem
  • Funding provisions from the Mass. Department of Public Health, Mass. Emergency Management Agency, and Mass. Department of Environmental Protection
  • Regular updates provided to the Attorney General on Decommissioning progress 
  • Financial assurance to the Commonwealth including minimum balances of funds through partial site release and license termination, and $30 million pollution insurance policy 
  • Reasonable aesthetical requirements for the new ISFIS protected area, including some screening from Rocky Hill Road 
  • Good faith cooperation between the parties for permits and other state approvals that may be required

“I’m pleased we were able to work with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to find common ground that will provide the adapted protections the Commonwealth deemed necessary, while providing Holtect the certainty needed to safely complete decommissioning on the projected timeline,” stated Pam Cowan, Chief Operating Officer of Holtec Decommissioning International.

“Our commitment to be a good neighbor, and our shared goal of protecting the health and safety of our workers, the community, and the environment were clear drivers for both parties that led to this agreement.”

Holtec stated that they are committed to completing the decommissioning of Pilgrim and rehabilitating the site so it can be returned to productive uses as soon as possible.

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