Holtec International, a Florida-based nuclear manufacturer and services firm, will decommission the three nuclear power units at the Indian Point Energy Center north of New York City in possibly as few as 12 years but no more than 15 years at a cost of $2.3 billion, the company said for the first time in a Dec. 19 filing to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Current plant owner Entergy Nuclear seeks to transfer the units’ operating license to Holtec by May 31, 2021, so the company can begin decommissioning as soon as the 1,080-MW Unit 3 stops operating on April 30, 2021.
The same-capacity Unit 2 will close down on April 30, 2020, and Unit 1, a 615-MW unit, was shut in 1974. The estimated cost to decommission is $598 million for Unit 1, $702 million for Unit 2 and $1 billion for Unit 3. Indian Point is located on the Hudson River in Westchester County, N.Y.
The plan to accelerate the decommissioning will shave 60 years off the original schedule, but the change depends on NRC approving the license transfer and sale to Holtec.
The firm has a contract with Comprehensive Decommissioning International, which includes SNC Lavalin Group, to take down the units.
Holtec will manage spent fuel, to be stored on site in dry cask containers. Holtec “may elect to ship large plant components by [Hudson River] barge,” according to the filing.
But the project is not without opponents. The environmental group Riverkeeper opposes the choice of Holtec to decommission the plant, claiming it has no experience decommissioning nuclear units. It has launched a petition urging Entergy and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to stop the license transfer and sale and wants state and federal regulators to establish community advisory boards.
In its filing to NRC, Holtec said the environmental impacts of decommissioning will be bound by previously issued environmental impact statements.