FILE - This March 30, 2011, file photo shows the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass. A company that manufactures giant containers used to store spent radioactive fuel has signed a deal to purchase the plant, scheduled for shutdown May 31, 2019, for accelerated decommissioning. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Risks, rewards accompany speedier cleanup of closed nukes

May 21, 2019 - 6:12 am

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — Federal regulators are reviewing plans to sell retiring nuclear reactors to a nuclear waste management company for accelerated decommissioning.

Holtec International says it could finish cleanup and demolition of the plants in eight years, rather than 60-year plans offered by their current owners.

Entergy Corp.'s Pilgrim nuclear plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is scheduled to close next week. The other facilities in Michigan, New Jersey and New York have either closed or are expected to in the next few years.

State officials, environmental groups and nuclear watchdogs say they support faster decommissioning but have raised concerns whether Holtec has the financial resources and experience to pull off the jobs.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission must approve the proposed sales. Those decisions are expected in the coming weeks and months.

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