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Cost of decommissioning Pilgrim nuclear power station – $25 million a year

$25 million a year decommissioning fee proposed for Pilgrim nuclear plant  Andy Metzger, State House News Service, Nov 6, 2017 BOSTON — Without sufficient funds for safely decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, the state could be left holding the proverbial (glowing) bag once the plant ceases operations, environmental activists warned lawmakers Monday, asking them to impose a $25 million annual fee on the station if it misses deadlines.

The plant is set to close in a year and a half and its owner, Entergy, said the timetable for completing the decommissioning five years after closing is unrealistic.

“Physically it’s impossible to decommission in five years,” Tom Joyce, a lobbyist for Entergy, told the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. The fuel that was delivered to the power plant on the Plymouth coast about six months ago is “very hot and being used now to fuel the reactor and produce electricity, which will stay in the pool and can’t be touched for five years,” Joyce said.

Pilgrim went into operation in 1972, and it has been a source of major safety concern for residents of the South Shore and Cape Cod, especially after the meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, demonstrated the devastation that can follow a nuclear disaster……..

The plant, which is rated one notch above the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s ranking of unacceptable, is set to close at the end of May 2019, and federal regulators will oversee the decommissioning process.

Pilgrim has a fund to pay for decommissioning that Joyce said stands at around $1 billion and anti-Pilgrim activists said was recently priced at about $960 million. Activists say that amount won’t be enough to cover the cost of safely securing the spent fuel and other decommissioning responsibilities.

Decommissioning Vermont Yankee, a smaller plant, had an estimated cost of $1.23 billion, according to Claire Miller, a community organizer for Toxics Action Center.

“If there’s not enough money the reactor could be mothballed for 60 years, and during that time obviously the workforce would be reduced to a skeleton [crew], offsite emergency planning would be eliminated, and offsite environmental monitoring eliminated or reduced,” Miller told the committee. “If Entergy … skips town, we are left holding the bag, along with lots of radioactive waste.”

Legislation filed by Plymouth Republicans Sen. Vinny deMacedo and Rep. Mathew Muratore would establish a Nuclear Power Station Post-Closure Trust Fund financed with $25 million annual payments by any nuclear plant that is not completely decommissioned five years after it stops making electricity. Pilgrim is the only remaining nuclear plant in Massachusetts.

“This is a detriment to our community,” deMacedo told the committee about the soon-to-be shuttered plant……


November 8, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, USA

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