Globally, Orano has more than 30 years’ experience decontaminating and dismantling nuclear facilities, and more than 60 years’ experience securely transporting and storing used nuclear fuel.
Except for the small portion of the site that will be used for dry cask used fuel storage, NorthStar has committed to complete the radiological decommissioning and site restoration by December 2030. Complete site restoration cannot be completed until the Department of Energy (DOE) satisfies its legal obligation to remove all used nuclear fuel stored on the facility. NorthStar’s planned completion date for partial site release is decades earlier than the completion date of June 2075 in the existing Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR).
A utility’s expertise is in managing a nuclear power facility to generate energy, not decommissioning the facility. NorthStar will leverage its team’s decontamination and dismantling experience to perform the decommissioning in a more efficient manner. NorthStar team member companies bring proven, specialized expertise to complete the complex aspects of decommissioning, including:
Accelerating the decommissioning schedule to achieve site restoration promotes the public interest by benefiting the local community, region and state through:
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) maintains oversight of the radiological decommissioning of Vermont Yankee. The Vermont Department of Health oversees industrial safety and groundwater monitoring and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources oversees the non-radiological remediation and restoration of the site at the completion of radiological decommissioning.
NorthStar is responsible for management of the stored used fuel until the Department of Energy fulfills its legal obligation to take custody of the used fuel and transport it from the Vermont Yankee site to consolidated storage or disposal facilities. NorthStar team member Orano has more than 60 years’ experience transporting and storing used nuclear fuel. Learn more about Orano’s used fuel experience
All radioactive waste is secured in NRC-licensed containers. Used nuclear fuel and reactor-generated Greater-Than-Class-C (GTCC) waste will remain in secure storage onsite pending transfer to the Department of Energy. The balance of radioactive waste is being packaged and transported for disposal at Waste Control Specialists' licensed facility in Andrews, Texas.
All work is being performed in compliance with NRC regulations governing any exposure during decommissioning. The NorthStar project team is sensitive to the proximity of Vernon Elementary School and residences, and is using proven methods to ensure continued safety and protection. The team is experienced in decommissioning and dismantling processes that include robust protection of the workers and surrounding environment through using the facility’s existing barriers, such as performing work inside the containment building, using remotely operated machinery, and additional protection strategies where needed.
As with the site decommissioning, NorthStar has full responsibility for site restoration, and is performing to approved site restoration standards that are generally consistent with those of other regional decommissioning projects. Additional site restoration details are included in the Settlement Agreement.
The companies represented in the NorthStar team possess all required management, regulatory, technical and financial qualifications to decommission U.S. nuclear energy sites safely and in accordance with all NRC and state requirements.
As a subcontractor on the NorthStar team, Orano is responsible for segmentation of the reactor vessel and its internal machinery, and monitoring the used nuclear fuel stored on the onsite Interim Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI).
Orano USA, with its decommissioning headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, has decades of U.S. experience in reactor vessel and internals segmentation and used nuclear fuel management and storage. As part of the global firm, Orano, the U.S. company brings into the region world leader expertise in large-scale nuclear reactor decommissioning and nuclear materials transportation.
Globally, Orano USA and its parent company have more than 30 years' experience in decontaminating and dismantling nuclear reactors and facilities, and more than 60 years’ experience transporting and storing used nuclear fuel. Orano,
through its subsidiary Orano TN, has safely and securely managed used nuclear fuel at more than 30 U.S. facilities using its state-of-the-art dry cask storage system, NUHOMS®.
Learn more about Orano's decommissioning experience
Orano and its legacy companies (AREVA Nuclear Materials, Framatome, Transnuclear) have an established reputation in the United States for effectively and safely decommissioning nuclear energy reactors.
NorthStar has provided solutions to both commercial and government decommissioning and closure projects for more than 20 years, including experience with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear facilities. NorthStar has performed nuclear reactor D&D to support NRC License Termination Plans at five reactor facilities:
Each of these jobs was completed without any NRC or Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) safety violations.
NorthStar’s international experience includes supporting 10 of the United Kingdom’s Magnox Ltd. Reactor sites, as well as installation of radiological detection systems for safeguards and security around the world.
More information about NorthStar’s decommissioning experience: www.northstar.com/services/nuclear-services
The ownership transfer to NorthStar included the funds in the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Decommissioning Trust (NDT), which are intended to be used for the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee. As part of its project evaluation, NorthStar created a detailed plan of the Vermont Yankee decommissioning schedule and its associated costs. The total cost of the proposed plan is less than the amount in the NDT.
As the NRC licensee, NorthStar is required to submit annual decommissioning funding status reports to the NRC. In the case of cost overruns by NorthStar or its subcontractors, no additional funding will be used from the NDT beyond the fixed price schedule, so the cost risk is carried by the contractor. Additional financial assurance information is included in the Settlement Agreement.
The global company group has revenue of 4 billion euros and an order backlog that represents the equivalent of nearly eight years of revenue.
Within the NorthStar team’s proposed work schedule for decommissioning Vermont Yankee, Orano’s scope of work segmenting the reactor vessel and reactor internals is on a fixed price basis; therefore, Orano’s project costs applied to the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Decommissioning Trust Fund will be defined prior to this work beginning and cannot result in cost escalations to the project.