Entergy, a US-based integrated energy company, announced that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the transfer of its Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station licences to a subsidiary of Holtec International for decommissioning, to complete the plant’s sale to Holtec.

In November 2018, both the companies had jointly filed a licence transfer application with the NRC, requesting approval for the transfer of Pilgrim facility, along with the Nuclear Decommissioning Trust (NDT) and decommissioning liability.

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station started generating electricity in 1972 and was permanently shut down on May 31, 2019. Entergy has purchased the nuclear power station, which currently has approximately 230 employees, in 1999 from Boston Edison.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves the transfer proposal

Approving the licence transfer, the NRC has identified that Holtec possess the required technical and financial qualifications to own and decommission Pilgrim safely and in accordance with all NRC requirements.

Entergy chairman and chief executive officer Leo Denault said: “The sale of Pilgrim is another important milestone in Entergy’s exit from merchant power markets, with previously announced signed agreements for the sale of Indian Point and Palisades following shutdowns in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

“We thank all of our employees at Pilgrim for their dedication and service over many decades, and we wish the best to all of those who are transitioning to work on decommissioning the Pilgrim nuclear facility. Community stakeholders and transitioning employees will benefit from a facility that is promptly dismantled and decommissioned safely.”

In April 2019, Entergy announced sale its subsidiaries that own Indian Point Units 1, 2, and 3, located in Buchanan, New York, to a Holtec International subsidiary for decommissioning.

The company said that the sale includes the transfer of the licences, spent fuel, decommissioning liabilities, and Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts (NDT) for the three units.

In addition, the sale is effective after Unit 3 is shut down and permanently defueled, according to Entergy. Indian Point Unit 1 was shut down in 1974, and Unit 2 and Unit 3 are expected to shut down by 30 April 2020 and 30 April 2021, respectively.