The sale of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power station to Holtec International was completed on Monday after the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of the Plymouth plant’s operating license last week.
The plant was shut down down permanently in May by Entergy Corp., a Lousiana-based company that has owned the plant since 1999. Holtec, a New Jersey-based company that specializes in the storage and transportation of nuclear waste, has promised to decommission the site in eight years, well ahead of the 60 years allowed by federal rules. State and local officials have criticized the proposed sale, saying Holtec has not shown that its plan has enough safeguards to protect the public.
On Monday, Holtec officials said they plan to move the remaining spent fuel into massive steel and concrete drums within three years, which they said would be “unprecedented in the history of decommissioning of nuclear plants.” They said they hoped to move the spent fuel to an interim storage site in New Mexico, although that site has yet to be approved. Holtec plans to retain some 270 Pilgrim employees through the initial phases of the decommissioning process.