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Entergy officially sold the subsidiary that owns the Palisades Power Plant to Holtec International. The formerly operating nuclear plant can now be decommissioned.

The sale of the Palisades plant marks the completion of Entergy’s planned exit from the nuclear merchant power business, and follows the closure and sale of the Vermont Yankee, Pilgrim and Indian Point plants and the sale of the operating James A. Fitzpatrick plant.

The transaction will also transfer ownership of the decommissioned Big Rock Point site in Charlevoix, Michigan from Entergy to Holtec.

Palisades was permanently shut down May 20, 2022, eleven days earlier than planned. Entergy said operators made the decision to shut down the 805 MW plant early due to the performance of a control rod drive seal.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the transfer of the license of Palisades from Entergy to Holtec for purposes of decommissioning in December 2021.

Holtec’s filings detail its plan to complete the dismantling, decontamination, and remediation of Palisades to NRC standards by 2041. That is more than 40 years sooner than if Entergy continued to own the facility and selected the maximum 60-year NRC SAFSTOR option for decommissioning.

The shutdown of Palisades coincides with the expiration of the plant’s 15-year power purchase agreement with Consumers Energy. The retirement was first announced in 2017.

Following the retirement announcement in 2017, Entergy made several commitments to plant employees. Any employee willing to relocate to another Entergy facility would be provided a job, if they were qualified.

The utility said approximately 130 employees accepted a job offer within the company’s southern service territory. As part of Entergy’s agreement with Holtec International, the new owner of the plant post-shutdown will hire approximately 260 current Palisades employees for the first phase of decommissioning.

Approximately 180 employees at Palisades will separate from the company, Entergy said. More than half of those employees are retirement eligible.

Palisades, located in Covert, Michigan, began commercial operation in 1971.

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