ilgrim Nuclear Power Station entered Phase I of plant decommissioning following safe removal of nuclear fuel from the reactor into the spent fuel pool, and NRC docketing of the certifications of permanent cessation of operations and permanent removal of fuel from the reactor on June 11.


Image: Pilgrim Station Unit 1 at Plymouth. Photo: courtesy of ENERGY.GOV/

Approximately 270 site employees are being retained to perform post-shutdown operations.

“The recent plant shutdown was very emotional for our team,” said Brian Sullivan, site vice president and Entergy’s top official at Pilgrim. “We wish all of our departing employees the best and thank them for their dedication to delivering safe, secure, carbon-free energy for the past 47 years. Their commitment to the mission to protect public health and safety is commendable.”

The closure of Pilgrim on May 31 and subsequent entry into Phase I of decommissioning is another important milestone in Entergy’s exit of the merchant power business, as the company transitions to a pure-play utility business. Entergy’s remaining operating nuclear power plants in merchant power markets – Indian Point Unit 2 and Unit 3, in New York, and Palisades Power Plant, in Michigan, are scheduled to be shut down in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively. These closures, along with the proposed sales of these plants to a decommissioning specialty company, mark the end of Entergy’s participation in merchant power markets and its return to a pure-play utility.

As per Entergy’s agreement with Holtec Decommissioning, approximately 270 Phase I employees will transition to the Holtec organization after the plant transaction is completed, which is expected this year.

A workforce reduction of Pilgrim employees occurred on June 20. An additional approximately 50 employees will relocate to continue working with Entergy at other locations.

Entergy owns and operates five nuclear power units in its regulated utility business, and is committed to the continued operation of its nuclear fleet in those locations. Its nuclear power plants in those markets are located in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, and have more than 5,000 megawatts of clean, reliable, and economic electricity generating capacity for customers in those regions.

Source: Company Press Release