FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Azulay, firstname.lastname@example.org, 315-480-1515
November 23, 2021 – In response to a petition made earlier this year by Exelon Corporation asking New York’s energy regulators to approve a spin-off of the company’s nuclear reactors and other assets into a new, separate corporation, an agreement has been reached by Exelon Corporation, Exelon Generation, LLC, the NY Department of Public Service Staff, the New York State Office of the Attorney General, and Alliance for a Green Economy.
The agreement is memorialized in a “Joint Proposal” that contains several public interest provisions that:
- Create financial assurances, parental guarantees, potential bond mechanisms, and minimum decommissioning trust fund balances that reduce risk throughout the decommissioning process, making it more likely that there will be sufficient money available for a thorough, responsible, expeditious cleanup of the radioactive sites
- Shave 40 years off of the decommissioning timelines as compared to what is allowed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC)
- Require Exelon to ensure that its decommissioning trust funds are sufficiently funded, based on the NRC formula, before spinning off the nuclear reactors
- Commit Exelon to deposit $15 million of its own money into the Nine Mile 2 decommissioning fund
- Require Exelon to continue to staff emergency operations in New York until the highly radioactive fuel is moved from the fuel pools to interim dry cask storage
- Require Exelon to give New York regulators 18 months notice of its intent to close any of the New York reactors, providing more time than currently required for New York to plan accordingly
In response to the filing of the Joint Proposal, AGREE makes the following statement, which can be attributed to Jessica Azulay, Executive Director:
“Our primary concerns in this case were whether or not the new company that would own New York’s four upstate nuclear reactors would have the financial wherewithal to operate the nuclear plants in our region, whether or not enough money would be available for eventually decommissioning the nuclear plants, and whether other important public interest protections could be gained by New York were Exelon’s proposed spin-off to move forward. After weeks of intense negotiations among the parties to this case, the agreement reached contains major public interest provisions that not only improve upon Exelon’s initial filing in this case, but that improve upon the status quo that would remain if no spin-off were happening. The New York nuclear reactors are uneconomical nuclear plants, propped up today by over $500 million per year in utility customer subsidies, that have major safety concerns with increasingly lax oversight from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Let us be clear, we wish Exelon were closing these plants rather than spinning them to a new company. Our community would be safer for it and precious ratepayer money could be used to meet the basic needs of financially struggling customers and funding a renewable energy transition. However, as long as these plants are operating, we will work to ensure that the company operating them provides the financial resources to do so, and we will take every opportunity to put into place better decommissioning safeguards and create avenues by which New York retains its options to move toward a nuclear-free and carbon-free future. This agreement furthers these interests and we appreciate all of the parties who came to the table to negotiate this settlement.”
Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE) is a Syracuse-based organization working for safe, affordable energy and the development of a green economy in New York State. Our goal is a prosperous, safe, and healthy New York, fulfilling the promise of conservation, energy efficiency, and safe, clean renewable energy sources to end our state's reliance on wasteful and environmentally destructive forms of energy. AGREE works to promote this transition to a carbon-free and nuclear-free future and educates the public about alternatives that can revitalize the economy and safeguard human health and the environment. AGREE is the primary nuclear watchdog organization for New York’s four upstate nuclear reactors.