NRC letter on Entergy Decommissioning Trust Funds
November 8, 2011 ~ ~
Mr. Sherwood Martinelli
351 Dyckman Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
Dear Mr. Martinelli:
On behalf of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), I am responding to the petition
that you submitted pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 2.206,
“Requests for action under this subpart,” on projected shortfalls in decommissioning funding at
reactor facilities operated by Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., and Entergy Operations, Inc.
(hereafter referred to as Entergy). In your electronic transmission dated August 22, 2009, to
Mr. R. W. Borchardt, Executive Director for Operations, you asked the NRC to take the following
enforcement actions with special emphasis on Indian Point Nuclear Generating, Unit Nos. 1, 2,
and 3, and the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station:
• Temporarily suspend the operating licenses of all Entergy facilities that have projected
shortfalls in their decommissioning trust funds.
• Order Entergy to use profits from its operations or loans from lending institutions to
redress the projected shortfalls.
• Conduct a complete review of all documents filed by Entergy on financial assurances to
identify misrepresented, false, or untrue statements on decommissioning funding.
• Suspend all NRC actions on Entergy filings, including license renewal, license transfers,
license amendments, and exemption requests, until the licensee is in compliance with
minimum decommissioning funding levels.
• Terminate any NRC staff members who deliberately ignored false and untrue statements
about financial assurances provided by Entergy.
• Order Entergy to publicly release all financial documents that provide decommissioning
• Order Entergy to be in full compliance with all NRC rules and regulations and to meet
minimum decommissioning funding levels within 60 days, or the NRC will permanently
terminate the operating licenses.
In our letter dated December 17,2009, we informed you that the agency was denying your
request for immediate actions and that it was referring your concerns about the projected
decommissioning funding shortfalls at Entergy’s Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station and
River Bend Station to the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation for appropriate action. In
response to that letter, you submitted an electronic transmission dated December 22, 2009, that
amended your original petition and asked the NRC to take the following additional actions:
• The NRC should make available to the Petitioner all data and information presented b
Entergy and used by the NRC staff to ascertain and make its preliminary decision on
which facilities owned and licensed by Entergy do or do not have adequate S. Martinelli – 2
decommissioning funds as required by the regulations. This information includes any
mathematical formulas, assurances, and financial instruments, such as stock investment
portfolios or insurance documents.
• The NRC should fine Entergy $50,000 per day per each separate license until the
licensee deposits adequate funds to make the decommissioning funds fully whole.
In a letter to Entergy dated December 28, 2009, the NRC staff concluded that the licensee had
demonstrated adequate decommissioning funding assurance for Indian Point Unit No.2. In
response to that letter, you submitted an electronic transmission dated December 28,2009, that
again amended your original petition and asked the NRC to take one of the following additional
• Require Entergy to withdraw any pending license renewal application currently before
• Require Entergy to (1) admit that it lied or deceived the NRC by submitting false,
inaccurate, or misleading data in its decommissioning trust fund reports, (2) agree to a
fine of no less than $5 billion, and (3) submit new, accurate reports within 180 days to
make its decommissioning trust funds whole.
The regulations at 10 CFR 50. 75(f)(1) and (2) require licensees to report decommissioning
funding assurance information to the NRC at least once every 2 years. The NRC required each
power reactor to report to the agency the status of its decommissioning funding as of
December 31, 2008, for each reactor or share of a reactor that it owns. Pursuant to
10 CFR 50.75(e)(2), the NRC reserves the right to review, as necessary, the rate of
accumulation of decommissioning funds and to take additional actions, as appropriate on a
case-by-case basis, to ensure an adequate accumulation of decommissioning funds.
The economic downturn in late 2008 caused a number of licensees, including Entergy-operated
facilities, to project shortfalls in their accumulation of decommissioning funds. The NRC staff
asked all licensees that showed a shortfall to provide a written plan of action to indicate how
they would meet their minimum funding assurance level. Accordingly, the staff reviewed the
individual action plans and performed an independent analysis for each of these reports. In the
end, the staff concluded that each licensee provided reasonable assurance that sufficient
funding for radiological decommissioning of the reactor will be available at the time of
permanent termination of operation.
The NRC staff sent a copy of the proposed Director’s Decision to you and to Entergy for
comment on September 8,2011. The staff received comments from the licensee. The
attachment to the enclosed Director’s Decision includes the comments and their resolution.
The issues in this final Director’s Decision involve your concerns about projected shortfalls in
decommissioning funding levels for plants operated by Entergy. The NRC has denied the
petition because (1) the NRC staff concludes, based on its case-by-case review of each
licensee’s response, that all Entergy facilities have provided reasonable assurance that
sufficient funding for radiological decommissioning of their respective facilities will be available
at the time of permanent termination of operation, and (2) the petition did not identify any S. Martinelli – 3
significant safety issues that would justify an immediate shutdown of the operating facilities.
Your request to make available all data and information presented by Entergy and relied on by
the NRC staff in its decisionmaking on decommissioning funding assurance is granted. All
information supplied by Entergy and used by the staff is publicly available in the Agencywide
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS).
The NRC will file a copy of the enclosed Director’s Decision (DD-11-07) with the Secretary of
the Commission for Commission review in accordance with 10 CFR 2.206(c). As a provision of
this regulation, the decision will constitute the final action of the Commission 25 days after the
date of the decision unless the Commission, on its own motion, institutes a review of the
decision within that time. The documents cited in the enclosed decision are available in ADAMS
for inspection at the Commission’s Public Document Room located at One White Flint North,
11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, MD, and from the ADAMS Public Library component
on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm.html(the Public Electronic Reading
I have also enclosed a copy of the Federal Register notice entitled, “Notice of Issuance of the
Director’s Decision under 10 CFR 2.206,” that the agency has filed with the Office of the Federal
Register for publication.
Please feel free to contact Douglas Pickett by telephone at 301-415-1364 or bye-mai l to
Douglas.Pickett@nrc.gov to discuss any questions that you may have concerning this petition.
Eric J eeds, Director
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
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