Areva-NorthStar JV offers accelerated decommissioning

02 February 2017

Areva Nuclear Materials and NorthStar have formed a new joint venture, Accelerated Decommissioning Partners (ADP), to acquire and decommission shut-down US nuclear reactors. The joint venture has already begun the process to acquire nuclear facilities, including their used nuclear fuel.

ADP brings together Areva's core competencies in nuclear component dismantling and used fuel management with NorthStar's expertise in demolition and environmental remediation. The joint venture is designed to contain all the management, regulatory, technical and financial qualifications needed to decommission nuclear energy sites in accordance with US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and state requirements.

The new venture is already working with a US power company to assess the decommissioning and dismantling of "multiple nuclear reactor facilities scheduled for shutdown", the companies said. It expects to complete the process, including the negotiation of terms for the post-shutdown transfer of ownership of the sites and their used fuel inventory, by the end of 2017.

"ADP offers the industry an innovative approach to accelerate decommissioning of shutdown nuclear power facilities through a complete and permanent transfer of ownership of the asset, including used nuclear fuel, from utility owners to an entity who is an expert in decommissioning and used fuel management", Sam Shakir, CEO of Areva Nuclear Materials, said.

In November, Entergy announced it had agreed to sell the shut-down Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and transfer its licences to NorthStar for an undisclosed price in a transaction expected to close by the end of 2018, subject to conditions and regulatory approvals. Under the agreement, NorthStar, would start decontamination and dismantling work at Vermont Yankee, which shut down in 2014, by 2021 and complete decommissioning and site restoration - with the exception of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSF) - by 2030. NorthStar would continue to operate the ISFSF until the US government fulfils its statutory responsibility for the final disposal of all used fuel in the USA, after which NorthStar would decommission the ISFSF, terminate the site's licence and complete site restoration.

NorthStar CEO Scott State said the combination of Areva and NorthStar's expertise created a "capable partner" for US utilities planning facility closures. "All together, the ADP team members represent the successful licence termination and decommissioning of more than ten NRC-licensed nuclear reactor and laboratory facilities, and have worked on more than 300 nuclear and power facility projects in the past 15 years," he said.

Washington, DC-based Areva Nuclear Materials is the US subsidiary of New Areva, the company being created through the restructuring of France's Areva SA into two separate entities. NorthStar, based in New York, provides comprehensive facility and environmental services, including decommissioning and closure services across the power industry. The company has provided solutions and support to nuclear decommissioning projects in the USA and overseas, including programs to decommission and dismantle five US research reactors.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News