The original contract between the companies, signed in 2003, was for the remaining years of the plant’s original operating license, currently due to expire in 2014 and presently under review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20-year license extension.

Ron Asche, CEO of NPPD, said: “The decision to extend the Support Services Agreement was based on the significant improvements in regulatory and operational performance realized at Cooper since the beginning of the agreement in 2003. I believe that NPPD and Entergy have established an effective partnership that bodes well for the future of Cooper.”

John Herron, chief nuclear officer of Entergy, said: “NPPD’s partnering with Entergy has mutual benefits. It gives single-plant owners like NPPD the advantages of owning a nuclear asset while also obtaining the benefits and economies of scale that come with being affiliated with a large nuclear operating fleet. Our nuclear expertise is then enhanced by having additional opportunity to evaluate industry best practices from all the plants including Cooper.”

Mr Asche added, “The Support Services Agreement has provided the resources that NPPD was looking for to secure its objective of remaining in the nuclear generation business, which is a proud part of our heritage.”

Cooper is an 810MW boiling water reactor near Brownville, Nebraska.