October 17, 2014
For Immediate Release
Martin Cohn
(802) 258-4118
Entergy Vermont Yankee Releases Historic Site Assessment Study to State of Vermont

Study Details Cost of Decommissioning

Vernon, VT – Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee has submitted its site assessment study for the decommissioning of the nuclear facility to the state of Vermont's Public Service Department, Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Health and Public Service Board. The study includes a description of existing radiological and non-radiological conditions at the site, a description of the decommissioning process, a description of steps required to move spent nuclear fuel to dry storage and to close the spent fuel pool, information on the likely cost and schedule of decommissioning and drafts of the post-shutdown decommissioning activities report and site-specific decommissioning cost estimate that ENVY expects to submit to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in December 2014.

In August 2013, Entergy Corporation announced that the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station would not be refueled and would cease operations at the end of its current operating cycle in late 2014. In December 2013, several Vermont state agencies and VY owner ENVY negotiated a settlement agreement that, among other things, included commitments by ENVY that VY would cease operation by the end of 2014 and that ENVY would prepare a site assessment study.

The site assessment study is intended to provide a basis for discussion about what will become of the VY plant and site after cessation of operations. The report consolidates into one source a summary of the historical environmental and radiological condition of the site, to explain what activities ENVY currently expects to occur as VY transitions from an operating to decommissioning site and to outline updated cost estimates for decommissioning the site. The report's summary of historical environmental and radiological information includes information about events that were reported to state or federal regulatory authorities. Where required, these events were reported at that time to appropriate regulatory agencies.

The most significant piece of new information presented in the site assessment study is the updated cost estimate to decommission VY, which is higher than previous cost estimates.

Entergy Vermont Yankee expects to shut down VY by the end of 2014 and immediately begin transitioning the plant from operations to dormancy. This transition period is expected to last until approximately 2020, at which time all spent nuclear fuel is expected to be transferred from the spent fuel pool to dry cask storage on the VY independent spent fuel storage installation. The plant
began operating in 1972. VY has reliably operated more than 550 days as a base-load electricity generating plant during its final operating cycle.

Study highlights

  • ENVY has selected the SAFSTOR decommissioning option – one of three options approved by the NRC, and one chosen by several other retired U.S. nuclear plants. Under this option, the plant will remain in a safe condition until decommissioning work is completed.
  • The estimated decommissioning cost is $1.24 billion in 2014 dollars. The total decommissioning cost estimate includes costs associated with terminating the NRC operating license ($817 million), spent fuel management ($368 million) and site restoration ($57 million).
  • The nuclear decommissioning trust continues to exceed NRC financial assurance requirements in the SAFSTOR scenario for license termination activities such as preparation for dormancy and decontamination and dismantlement.
  • With NRC approval, excess funds in the trust may be used for spent fuel management activities. ENVY plans to seek NRC approval to use a combination of the nuclear decommissioning trust funds and financing to fund spent fuel management to fulfill NRC financial assurance requirements for spent nuclear fuel, with financing being repaid from litigation recoveries of costs from the federal government. The need for a spent fuel management plan is largely driven by the U.S. Department of Energy's failure to remove and dispose spent nuclear fuel, for which ENVY and prior owners of VY have already paid the DOE more than $119 million. ENVY has prevailed in past litigation for recovery of the large majority of its claimed spent fuel storage costs.
  • ENVY is committed to seek NRC approval to commence major decommissioning activities within 120 days after it has made a reasonable determination that the funds in the nuclear decommissioning trust are adequate to complete decommissioning and remaining spent nuclear fuel management activities.
  • Safe operations will continue to be the top VY priority for the remainder of 2014, and decommissioning of the facility will be done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Radiological and environmental monitoring will continue during the entire decommissioning process to ensure safety and environmental protection.
  • The plant's spent nuclear fuel will remain in the existing on-site fuel pool until a second independent spent fuel storage installation pad is built onsite. Most U.S. nuclear plants store spent fuel onsite – either in fuel pools or dry storage casks – because the United States does not yet have a permanent federal repository for used nuclear fuel.
  • Consistent with a Vermont state requirement, ENVY has applied for a certificate of public good to construct the second independent spent fuel storage pad, which is required to complete moving all the spent nuclear fuel currently stored in the spent fuel pool to dry cask storage. ENVY's ability to transfer all spent fuel to dry storage by 2020 (as currently anticipated) is dependent on obtaining the certificate of public good in a timely manner.
  • After all of the VY spent fuel is moved to dry storage, the fuel will remain on the spent fuel storage pad until DOE removes it from the site. At that point, VY will be similarly situated to the other three decommissioned Yankee plants (Yankee Rowe in Rowe, Mass.; Maine Yankee in Wiscasset, Maine; and Connecticut Yankee in Haddam Neck, Conn.), which continue to store their spent fuel on their spent fuel storage pads as they await progress at the federal level to remove the fuel from their sites.

“Decommissioning Vermont Yankee will be a well-defined process, with significant NRC oversight,” said Bill Mohl, president, Entergy Wholesale Commodities. “Nuclear safety will remain our top priority. The plant will remain in a safe condition. Our comprehensive emergency plan will continue to meet all applicable NRC requirements, and we will continue to maintain a 24/7 security force throughout the decommissioning process.”

ENVY has launched a web site that contains the site assessment study and additional information about the nuclear plant's decommissioning plan,

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.

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In this news release and from time to time Entergy Corporation makes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in this news release and in Entergy's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Entergy's other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; (b) uncertainties associated with rate proceedings, formula rate plans and other cost recovery mechanisms; (c) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of major storms and recover related restoration costs; (d) nuclear plant relicensing, operating and regulatory risks, including any changes resulting from the nuclear crisis in Japan following its catastrophic earthquake and tsunami; (e) changes in decommissioning trust fund values or earnings or in the timing or cost of decommissioning Vermont Yankee or any of Entergy's other nuclear plant sites; (f) legislative and regulatory actions and risks and uncertainties associated with claims or litigation by or against Entergy and its subsidiaries; and (g) economic conditions and conditions in commodity and capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, in addition to other factors described elsewhere in this release and subsequent securities filings.