A decommissioning roadmap for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station released Tuesday night during a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) meeting in Plymouth, MA.
Entergy and Holtec presented a Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report as the NRC continues to review a license transfer for the plant which would complete a purchase and sale agreement.
Entergy’s plan would put the plant into SAFSTOR, or long-term storage, with a 60-year decommissioning.
“The vast majority of that time the plant would remain dormant,” said Mike Twomey, Entergy’s vice president of external affairs.
If the sale is approved, Holtec’s expedited plan, or the DECON alternative, would have decommissioning completed by 2027.
“We would expect the NRC to take action on the sale somewhere between the middle of this year to the end of this year,” Twomey said. “We are hoping to have it wrapped up by the end of 2019.”
The official shutdown day for the plant will be May 31.
Energy producers need to commit to participating in the market for the next year on June 1.
Twomey said the decommissioning planning and preliminary work would be the same under both plans for the first 6 to 12 months post shutdown.
All nuclear fuel needs to be removed from the reactor and initially placed into the spent fuel pool. That fuel would then be placed into dry cask storage.
“Where you see the differences is a couple years out,” Twomey said. “Entergy’s plan would put the plant into a dormant state and come back and start doing work decades from now. Whereas Holtec would start doing the major decommissioning work right away.”
The companies expect an NRC decision and a finalized sale by the end of 2019.