- An increase in its Support Agreement from $125 million to $140 million;
- The establishment of an interest-bearing escrow account that will initially be funded with $30 million and will, with additional contributions from NorthStar over time, grow to a minimum balance of $55 million. Withdrawals from this escrow account may be made only with approval from DPS and ANR;
- A $25 million NorthStar subcontractor guaranty available in the event and to the extent that all other forms of financial assurance are unavailable;
- A $30 million Pollution Legal Liability insurance product that will provide coverage for site restoration activities to address previously unknown or not fully characterized non-radiological environmental conditions identified at the VY Station site after the closing of the proposed transaction;
- A comprehensive reporting protocol that will provide appropriate state agencies with detailed information about the progress and financial status of the decommissioning project; and
- NorthStar has also agreed to engage in public process and transparency measures throughout the decommissioning process and will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure that the public remains informed about the progress at the Vermont Yankee site.
- Entergy will contribute to the Site Restoration Trust (SRT) (established as a result of the 2013 settlement agreement between Entergy and the State of Vermont) an amount sufficient to bring the balance of the SRT to $60 million. Given the current SRT balance, the contribution is expected to be approximately $30 million. At the same time, Entergy Corporation will terminate the existing $20 million parent guaranty supporting the trust; and
- Entergy has agreed to a potential contribution of $40 million of Department of Energy litigation proceeds expected in 2023 if, and only if, at that time certain decommissioning project milestones have not been met, if the cost to complete decommissioning and site restoration is expected to exceed the amount in the Nuclear Decommissioning Trust and the SRT, or if certain financial assurances have been called upon. If the conditions are met that require the contribution of the $40 million, those funds would be placed in an escrow account by NorthStar, but such funds could not be used unless all other forms of financial assurance (other than the $25 million NorthStar subcontractor guaranty) have been exhausted. NorthStar would remain liable to Entergy for the $40 million under the terms of the parties' commercial agreement.
Site Restoration StandardsThe parties have agreed to detailed site restoration standards that are fully protective of the environment as well as fully protective of the health and safety of workers and the public. The standards to which NorthStar will adhere include the following key terms:
- Release of the site to a radiological dose limit of 15 mrem/year from all pathways combined, with no more than 5 mrem/year from liquid effluents, with the understanding that NorthStar will attempt to attain a calculated annual 10mR TEDE All Pathways and 4mR TEDE Water residual radiation standard, unless NorthStar determines that the attainment of the latter standard would be cost prohibitive or technically infeasible because of site conditions;
- Completion of a comprehensive site investigation and any required corrective actions in accordance with ANR regulations and pursuant to a schedule developed in consultation with the Town of Vernon and approved by ANR;
- Compliance with the Vermont Radiological Health Rule intended to protect individual workers on the site and the general public outside of the Vermont Yankee property;
- Submission of plans (1) to perform groundwater sampling of non-radiological contamination, (2) to characterize below-grade structures that NorthStar proposes to leave in place, (3) for any use of concrete as fill at the site, and (4) for any use of off-site materials proposed to be used as fill on site, including a plan to characterize off-site materials;
- For applicable segments of the property, and upon approval of an institutional control plan by ANR, NorthStar will remediate the site to comply with environmental standards applicable to industrial sites. If NorthStar does not receive approval for an institutional control plan with respect to specific segments of the site, it shall remediate those segments to comply with standards applicable to residential sites;
- Removal of all above-ground structures at the site, other than the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) and associated security facilities, the VELCO switchyard, the administrative office building known as the Plant Support Building, and the portion of the railroad spur that is able to be released for unrestricted use from the NRC-issued Vermont Yankee operating license; and
- Removal of all underground structures at the site — including, without limitation, building foundations, buried piping, and contained piping — to a depth of 4 feet below ground surface and to a greater depth wherever required to meet the site release standards described in the agreement. Asbestos-containing material shall be removed regardless of depth.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed elsewhere in this news release and in Entergy's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Entergy's other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; (b) uncertainties associated with (1) rate proceedings, formula rate plans and other cost recovery mechanisms, including the risk that costs may not be recoverable to the extent anticipated by the utilities and (2) implementation of the ratemaking effects of changes in law; (c) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of major storms and recover related restoration costs; (d) nuclear plant relicensing, operating and regulatory costs and risks, including any changes resulting from the nuclear crisis in Japan following its catastrophic earthquake and tsunami; (e) changes in decommissioning trust fund values or earnings or in the timing or cost of decommissioning Entergy's nuclear plant sites; (f) legislative and regulatory actions and risks and uncertainties associated with claims or litigation by or against Entergy and its subsidiaries; (g) risks and uncertainties associated with strategic transactions that Entergy or its subsidiaries may undertake, including the risk that any such transaction may not be completed as and when expected and the risk that the anticipated benefits of the transaction may not be realized; (h) effects of changes in federal, state or local laws and regulations and other governmental actions or policies, including changes in monetary, fiscal, tax, environmental or energy policies; and (i) the effects of technological changes and changes in commodity markets, capital markets or economic conditions, during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements.