Large US electrical utility Entergy announced that a process is under way to explore the potential sale of Vermont Yankee, its 605-megawatt nuclear plant in Vernon, Vt.
The sale process is being conducted on a confidential basis and no additional details will be released at this time. While no decision has been made to sell the plant, the company said it expects interest from multiple parties.
Vermont Yankee's operation licence runs out in March 2012. Although the company had been negotiating a licence extension, it came under fire for the way it handled a tritium leak on site. The government of the state of Vermont has an unusual amount of say in a power plant life extension, and has acted to block the licence extension.
"Our motivation for exploring the sale of the plant is simple - we want to do whatever is in the best interest of our stakeholders, including the approximately 650 men and women who work at the plant," said J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy's chairman and chief executive officer. "At the same time, we have been successfully resolving any issues to secure Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval for a license extension at the plant, and we have been in negotiations with the local electric companies to finalize a long-term power purchase agreement to ensure the continued output of clean and reliable energy for Vermont utilities.
Entergy said that the plant has an outstanding operational record. It completed 532 days of continuous operation in April 2010, the second breaker-to-breaker run in the last five years. The record run for the plant is 547 days, which ended in 2007.