US NRC approves licence transfer for Palisades and Big Rock Point

16 December 2021

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said on 13 Dcember it had approved the transfer of the Palisades NPP licences from Entergy Nuclear Operations to Holtec International, as owner, and Holtec Decommissioning International (HDI), as decommissioning operator.

Holtec and HDI have announced they intend to expedite the decommissioning and dismantling of the nuclear power plant. The transfer also includes the Palisades independent spent fuel storage installation, as well as the licenses for the decommissioned Big Rock Point nuclear power plant and its associated spent fuel storage facility. 

The NRC order approving the transfer is effective immediately, but the licence transfer will not be finalised until after the permanent shutdown of Palisades’ and the completion of the transaction among Entergy, Holtec and HDI. At that point, the NRC will amend the licenses to reflect the completion of the transfer. Additionally, several hearing requests are currently pending before the Commission. The transfer approval is subject to the Commission’s authority to rescind, modify, or condition the transfer based on the outcome of any subsequent hearing on the application.

In reviewing the licence transfer application, the NRC staff considered Holtec and HDI’s technical and financial qualifications, the adequacy of the Palisades decommissioning trust fund to complete the radiological decommissioning of the plant, and the adequacy of plans to manage the onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel until it can be removed for storage or disposal elsewhere. The NRC staff concluded that Holtec and HDI met the regulatory, legal, technical and financial requirements necessary to qualify as licensees. 


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