Forked River, N.J. — Exelon Generation, the owner of the nation’s largest fleet of nuclear energy facilities, and Holtec International, a global leader in used nuclear fuel management technologies, today announced an agreement for Holtec to purchase Oyster Creek Generating Station.
Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approvals, Holtec will assume ownership of the site, real property and used nuclear fuel. As the site’s owner, Holtec will manage all site decommissioning and restoration activities.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, pending the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s and other regulatory approval, and will not impact the scheduled shutdown of Oyster Creek, as previously announced. Holtec will be accelerating Oyster Creek’s decommissioning timeline with the highest standard of safety, quality and environmental stewardship.
“This landmark agreement is good news for Oyster Creek employees, the Lacey community and the state of New Jersey,” said Bryan Hanson, Exelon Generation’s chief nuclear officer. “Holtec’s commitment to the nuclear industry and its presence in New Jersey will allow many of our employees previously facing relocation to continue living and working in the Garden State. Further, with three decades of experience in nuclear fuel technologies and a partnership with global decommissioning leader SNC-Lavalin, Holtec is ideally positioned to complete the decommissioning of Oyster Creek safely and swiftly.”
“It is with wistful pride that we, a New Jersey-born company which has spread around the globe, will take over the State’s oldest nuclear plant and decommission it with the latest technologies that will preserve the pristine New Jersey shore and accrete minimal dose to the workers. We hope to offer job opportunities to the many Oyster Creek-based Exelon employees who may wish to pursue exciting career opportunities with our company,” said Holtec’s President & CEO, Dr. Kris Singh.
As the new owner of the plant, Holtec will contract with Comprehensive Decommissioning International, LLC (CDI) to perform the decontamination and decommissioning of the plant. CDI is a joint venture company of Holtec and SNC-Lavalin. Headquartered in Camden, N.J., CDI will bring the expertise of both companies together to ensure safe, rapid, and economic nuclear plant decommissioning. With its experience and state-of-the-art technologies, CDI is well equipped to decommission Oyster Creek within eight years, more than 50 years ahead of the industry-allowed 60-year timeline.
As part of the sale agreement, CDI will offer employment to Oyster Creek decommissioning employees, effective upon the transaction closing.
Holtec will submit a new Oyster Creek decommissioning plan, which must be reviewed and approved by the NRC. The process provides opportunities for public review and comment on the plan during the NRC evaluation period.
Holtec recently submitted a license application for an autonomous consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) in New Mexico to accept spent nuclear fuel from all nuclear plants in the U.S., including from Oyster Creek. Once licensed, fuel could be sent to the New Mexico CISF based upon the established use of interim storage locations by the federal government which would allow Holtec to return the full site to unrestricted use once the fuel has been transported off-site.
The funds from the site’s decommissioning trust will be transferred to Holtec upon closing and will be used by Holtec to cover the cost of the decommissioning. The trust fund was established decades ago to pay for decommissioning, and no additional funds from utility customers will be required.
In February 2018, Exelon Generation announced Oyster Creek will permanently shut down this fall at the end of its current operating cycle. Exelon Generation is required to close Oyster Creek no later than December 2019 as part of an agreement with the State of New Jersey.
Oyster Creek is located about 60 miles east of Philadelphia in Ocean County, N.J. The plant produces 636 net megawatts of zero-emission electricity at full power, enough electricity to supply 600,000 typical homes, the equivalent to all homes in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined.