Vermont Yankee Sale from Entergy to NorthStar Completed

On January 11, 2019, Entergy Corporation completed the sale of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee to subsidiaries of NorthStar Group Services, which will decommission the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station site.  The sale is a first-of-its-kind in the nuclear power industry – a permanent ownership and license transfer to a company that is slated to perform timely and efficient decommissioning and site restoration.

“The sale completion is a major step toward the safe, timely and efficient decommissioning of Vermont Yankee … and is a positive outcome for the Town of Vernon, Windham County, the State of Vermont and other stakeholders,” states the associated press release from Entergy.  “In addition, Entergy is making progress on its corporate strategy of exiting the merchant nuclear power business.”

The NorthStar decommissioning team includes Orano USA (reactor vessel segmentation and used fuel management support); Waste Control Specialists (waste management, packaging, transport and disposal); and, Burns & McDonnell (engineering and regulatory support).


In November 2016, Entergy and NorthStar announced the sale agreement.  On October 11, 2018, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an Order approving the transfer of the operating license for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant from Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy) to NorthStar Nuclear Decommissioning Company, LLC (NorthStar NDC).  Entergy requested the transfer to NorthStar NDC to decommission the plant, which ceased operations in December 2014.  The Order and other documents related to the license transfer review are available in the NRC’s ADAMS online database at ML18242A638.

Based on the staff’s review, NRC approved the application for transfer of the licenses for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant subject to the following conditions:

  • prior to the closing of the license transfer, NorthStar NDC and NorthStar Vermont Yankee, LLC (NorthStar VY) would provide the Directors of NRC’s Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS) and Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) satisfactory documentary evidence that they have obtained the appropriate amount of insurance required of a licensee under 10 CFR 140.11(a)(4) and 10 CFR 50.54(w) of the Commission’s regulations, consistent with the exemptions issued to Vermont Yankee on April 15, 2016;
  • NorthStar VY and NorthStar NDC would take no action to cause NorthStar Group Services, Inc. to void, cancel or modify the $140 million support agreement to provide funding for Vermont Yankee as represented in the application without prior written consent of the NRR Director; and,
  • NorthStar VY would obtain a performance bond if a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on federal reimbursements for spent fuel management expenses is not entered into by January 1, 2022.

The performance bond would become effective January 1, 2022 initially in the amount of $4.3 million and it will be renewed annually.  This amount would cover the annual amount of Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) operation and maintenance costs projected for 2022-2024.  If a settlement is not reached by January 1, 2024, this amount would be increased to $9.3 million, which covers the annual amount of ISFSI operation and maintenance costs projected for years after 2024.

On December 6, 2018, the Vermont Public Utility Commission issued an order approving the sale of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee and an amended Certificate of Public Good that authorizes NorthStar to own, possess the licenses for and decommission Vermont Yankee.  The transaction closed on terms consistent with the companies’ previously disclosed financial commitments and assurances.  No contribution to the nuclear decommissioning trust was required.


Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station is a single unit boiling water reactor located in Vernon, Vermont.  It began commercial operation in 1972.  Entergy acquired the plant from Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation in 2002.  The plant permanently ceased operations on December 29, 2014.

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 nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power.  Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.  Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11 billion and more than 13,000 employees.

NorthStar Group Services, based in New York, is a comprehensive facility and environmental solutions company with more than $600 million in annual sales and licenses in all 50 states throughout the country.  NorthStar owns and maintains a large, nationwide inventory of specialized dismantling equipment and employs more than 3,000 people.

For additional information, interested stakeholders are directed to, and

State of Texas Reduces Disposal Surcharges

In late 2017, the State of Texas agreed to reduce disposal surcharges for a 24-month limited period of time at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) facilities in Andrews County, Texas.  In particular, gross revenue fees for in-compact customers have been cut in half—reduced from a total of 10% to 5%.  Gross revenue fees for out-of-compact customers have been reduced from 31.25% to 16.25%.

WCS released the following statement regarding reduced disposal surcharges:

Waste Control Specialists is delighted to inform customers that — for a limited time — the state has significantly reduced its disposal surcharges for those customers currently disposing low-level radioactive waste at the WCS facilities in Andrews County.  For both in-compact and out-of-compact generators, this will result in significant cost savings … 

These are significant reductions and already resulting in dramatic cost-savings for our customers.  This should encourage our customers to dispose of low-level radioactive waste in our state-of-the-art facility in Andrews County and we are already seeing an uptick in scheduled disposal shipments …

The new fee structure, which was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2017 and is now in effect, will remain in place through August 31, 2019.  According to WCS, “waste will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis” during the reduced surcharge period.  It is unclear as to what will happen at the end of the 24-month window of cost savings.

For additional information, please contact WCS representative Chuck McDonald at (512) 658-5958 or at

Texas Compact Commission Holds November 2017 Meeting

On November 16, 2017, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Austin, Texas.  It was held in Room E1.028 at the Texas Capitol, which is located at 1100 Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas.

The meeting, which began at 9:30 a.m. CDT, followed the conclusion of a one-day workshop focused on disposal options for in-compact waste generators, specifically on topics that are important to Texas generators.

The formal meeting agenda is available on the Texas Compact Commission’s web site at 


The following is an abbreviated overview of the agenda for the Texas Compact Commission meeting.  Persons interested in additional detail are directed to the formal agenda themselves.

  • call to order;
  • roll call and determination of quorum;
  • introduction of Commissioners, elected officials and press;
  • public comment;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Arizona Public Service Palo Verde; Qal-Tek (as broker); Qal-Tek (as generator); Southern Nuclear Company Hatch; and, Southern Nuclear Company Hatch Irradiated Hardware;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations;
  • receive report from Chair on Texas Compact Commission activities including an update on the to-be-formed committee as a result of recent legislation;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Executive Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities relating to workshops and Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2018; and,
  • adjourn.


The Texas Compact Commission may meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551, Texas Government Code.  Texas Compact Commission meetings are open to the public.

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at

Texas Compact Commission Holds Low-Level Waste Disposal Workshop

On November 15, 2017, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (TLLRWDCC) hosted a workshop in Austin, Texas.  The workshop, which was held at the Legislative Conference Center at the Texas State Capitol, was a full-day event.

Workshop presentations focused on disposal options for in-compact waste generators, specifically on topics that are important to Texas generators.  The meeting agenda included the following:

  • 9:00 – 9:30: Welcome and Program Introduction — TLLRWDCC
  • 9:30 – 10:00: Why is Source Disposal So Important? — National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
  • 10:00 – 10:30: Superfund!  No One is Immune — Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
  • 10:45 – 11:45: Source Storage and the 2-Year Rule — Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS)
  • 1:15 – 1:45: How Can I Dispose of My Source?  The Source Collection and Threat Reduction (SCATR) Program — Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD)
  • 1:45 – 2:15: What is a Low-Level Waste Compact?  How does a Compact Affect Me? — TLLRWDCC
  • 2:30 – 3:15: Does Texas Have a Compact Facility?  And Why Do I Care? — Waste Control Specialists (WCS)
  • 3:15 – 3:45: The Role of the TCEQ — TCEQ
  • 3:45 – 4:00: Closing Remarks — TLLRWDCC

Attendance for the workshop, for which there were 70 slots available, was free.

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at

NRC Seeks Public re Draft Regulatory Analysis for Final Part 61 Rule

Specific Cost and Benefit Information Requested

On October 17, 2017, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a Federal Register notice requesting comment on the draft regulatory analysis, “Draft Regulatory Analysis for Final Rule: Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal,” and seeking specific cost and benefit information to better inform the updated draft regulatory analysis.  (See 82 Federal Register 48,283 dated October 17, 2017.)

The Federal Register notice regarding the draft regulatory analysis for the final Part 61 rule is available at

Discussion  In addition to specified rule language changes, the Commission, in SRM-SECY-16-0106, also directed the NRC staff to “be informed by broader and more fully integrated, but reasonably foreseeable costs and benefits to the U.S. waste disposal system resulting from the proposed rule changes, including pass -through costs to waste generators and processors.”  To support development of the new supplemental proposed rule as directed by the Commission in SRM-SECY-16-0106, the NRC staff is seeking comment on how to improve the approach/methodology and actual cost data currently used in the draft final rule regulatory analysis to provide more accurate cost and benefit data in the final regulatory analysis.  In particular, the NRC is seeking information on any cost changes that should be incorporated into the regulatory analysis in light of the Commission’s changes to the draft final rule.

Requested Information and Comments  NRC is providing the below specific questions associated with the draft regulatory analysis (ADAMS Accession No. ML16189A050).  The questions will also be discussed at the public meeting.  The NRC staff will consider the responses to the questions as it revises the regulatory analysis.

  •   Is the NRC considering appropriate alternatives for the regulatory action described in the draft regulatory analysis?
  •   Are there additional factors that the NRC should consider in the regulatory action?  What are these factors?
  •   Is there additional information concerning regulatory impacts that the NRC should include in its regulatory analysis for this rulemaking?
  •   Are all costs and benefits properly addressed to determine the economic impact of the rulemaking alternatives?  What cost differences would be expected from moving from the discussed 1,000 year and 10,000 year compliance periods to a single 1,000 year compliance period? Are there any unintended consequences of making this revision?
  •   Are there any costs that should be assigned to those sites not planning to accept large quantities of depleted uranium for disposal in the future?
  •   Is NRC’s assumption that only two existing low-level radioactive waste sites (i.e., EnergySolutions’ Clive Utah disposal facility and Waste Control Specialists’ Texas disposal facility) plan to accept large quantities of depleted uranium for disposal in the future reasonable?
  •   What additional costs or cost savings, not already considered in the draft regulatory analysis, will the supplemental proposed rulemaking or alternatives cause to society, industry, and government?  What are the potential transfer (“pass- through”) costs to the waste generators and processors?

Submitting Comments  Comments are due by November 16, 2017.  Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to assure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.  Interested stakeholders may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  •   Go to and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0012.
  •   E-mail comments to If you do not receive an automatic e-mail reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.
  •   Fax comments to Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301- 415-1101.
  •   Mail comments to Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

Docket ID NRC-2011-0012 should be referenced when submitting comments.

For additional information, please contact Gregory Trussell, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, at (301) 415-6445 or at

Central Interstate Commission Passes Resolution Authorizing Waste Exports

On June 20, 2017, the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission held its annual meeting at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas.

During the meeting, the Commission passed a resolution granting approval for all low-level radioactive waste generators in the compact region (Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma) to export their low-level radioactive waste without first making application to the Commission.

The text of the resolution is as follows:

WHEREAS, the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission (“Commission”) was established in 1984 pursuant to the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact (“Compact”) (Public Law 99-240) and has, as current member states, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, and  

WHEREAS, Article III.g. of the Compact provides that, unless authorized by the Commission, it shall be unlawful after January 1, 1986 for any person to export from the region, low-level radioactive waste (“LLRW”) generated within the region, and to transport LLRW from the site at which it is generated except to a regional facility, and 

WHEREAS, in 2006, the Commission adopted a resolution to not actively pursue siting a regional facility in one of the member states, and  

WHEREAS, by not having a regional facility in one of the member states, all LLRW generators in the member states have exported their LLRW wastes from the region to a non-Compact disposal facility after having applied to, and obtained authorization from, the Commission, as required by Article III.g., and 

WHEREAS, the Commission has determined there is no further need to require each LLRW generator to apply to the Commission for export authorization,  



A. This Resolution shall take effect July 1, 2017 and shall serve as authorization for export required under Article III.g. of the Compact.

B. The Commission authorizes all LLRW generators within the member states to export LLRW generated at their facilities to any duly authorized and permitted disposal facility outside of the Compact, without application to the Commission or payment of any application fee, provided the export is done in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations and any terms or conditions required of both the disposal facility to receive the LLRW and the regional Compact in which the disposal facility is located. 

C. Within 30 days of the date this Resolution is adopted, the Administrator shall ensure a copy of this Resolution is posted on the Commission’s webpage and is provided to: 

  • all LLRW generators who have filed Export Applications with the Commission during Fiscal Years 2015 to the present; and
  • the following LLRW disposal facilities and their associated Compact:
    • EnergySolutions in Barnwell, South Carolina (Atlantic Compact);
    • EnergySolutions in Clive, Utah (Northwest Compact);
    • S. Ecology in Richland, Washington (Northwest Compact); and
    • Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas (Texas-Vermont Compact).

This resolution shall remain in effect until modified, suspended, or revoked by the Commission.

The resolution was adopted by a 4 to 0 vote of the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission.  The effective date of the resolution, which was signed by Commission Chair Jon Roberts, is July 1, 2017.

For additional information, please contact Kristie Valtierra, Administrator of the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission, at (402) 702-5220 or at or visit their web site at

Northwest Compact Commission Hosts Meeting

On June 8, 2017, the Northwest Interstate Compact on Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management will host a meeting beginning at 9:00 a.m. PDT in Helena, Montana.  The meeting will be held at the Radisson Colonial Hotel, which is located at 2301 Colonial Drive in Helena, Montana.

The following topics, among others, are on the meeting agenda:

  • Welcome and Introductory Remarks (Earl Fordham, Chair)
    • Introductions
  • Compact Business (Kristen Schwab, Executive Director)
    • Approve Minutes of June 21, 2016 Committee Meeting
  • Party States Reports (Committee Members)
  • US Ecology – Activities Overview (Mike Ault, General Manager, US Ecology Inc.)
  • Disposal Volume Summary for 2016 and for 2017 through May
  • 2017 Revenue Requirement
  • MTCA Investigation
  • Other Issues
  • Utah – Activities Overview (Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director, Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control)
  • Legislation
    • EnergySolutions’ Activities Including Status of EnergySolutions’ Depleted Uranium Performance Assessment
  • Other Issues
  • Break
  • US Ecology MTCA Investigation (Ron Skinnarland, Washington State Department of Ecology)
    • Overview and Update
  • National and Regional Issues (Kristen Scwhab, Executive Director)
    • Import/Export License Applications
    • Texas Compact/Waste Control Specialists
    • Compact Updates
    • Other Issues
  • EnergySolutions – Activities Overview (Dan Shrum, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, EnergySolutions)
    • 2016 Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Volumes
    • Other Issues
  • Lunch
  • Low-Level Radioactive Waste Forum’s Disused Sources Working Group (Gary Robertson, DSWG Technical Consultant)
    • Disused Sources Background
    • Disused Sources Current Status
    • Disused Sources Program Update
  • Transfer of Northwest Compact Activities (Earl Fordham, Chair)
    • Status Update
  • Update on Legal Issues (Kristen Mitchell, Compact Counsel, Washington State Attorney General’s Office)
    • Status Update
  • Break
  • Committee Business
  • Public Comment
  • Meeting Adjourned

For additional information, please contact Kristen Schwab, Executive Director of the Northwest Interstate Compact on Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management, at (360) 236-3232 or at

LLW Forum Sponsors Panel for Waste Management 2016 Conference

The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Forum, Inc. (LLW Forum) has organized a panel for the Waste Management 2016 Conference titled, Hot Topics and Emerging Issues in US Commercial Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management. Panel 16 will focus on emerging issues in commercial low-level radioactive waste management in the United States from the perspective of representatives of the LLW Forum. State, federal and industry officials will share their views on a variety of timely and significant topics including:

  •   the proposal to license a disposal cell for Greater-than-Class C (GTCC), GTCC-like and Transuranic waste through means other than deep geologic disposal at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) facility in Texas—Charles Maguire, Director of the Radioactive Materials Division at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ);
  •   an initiative to develop implementation guidance for the Branch Technical Position on Concentration Averaging and Encapsulation (CA BTP)— Lisa Edwards, Senior Program Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI);
  •   status of the proposed rule to amend 10 CFR Part 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste— Gregory Suber, Chief of the Low-Level Waste Branch at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC);
  •   the depleted uranium performance assessment, license and permit updates, and current waste disposal volumes and types at the Clive facility in Utah— Dan Shrum, Senior Vice-President of Regulatory Compliance at EnergySolutions; and,
  •   broker and processor perspectives on the management and disposition of disused sources— John McCormick, Vice-President at Bionomics, Inc.

The Waste Management 2016 Conference will be held at the convention center in Phoenix, Arizona from March 6-10, 2016. The LLW Forum-sponsored Panel 16 is scheduled to be held in Room 103AB from 1:30 – 3:10 p.m. on Monday afternoon—March 7, 2016.

As a reminder, registration rates for the Waste Management 2016 Conference are scheduled to increase on February 7, 2016.

Additional information on the Waste Management 2016 Conference can be found at or by contacting the Waste Management office at (480) 557-0263.