US-based Entergy Corporation has entered into an agreement to sell Vermont Yankee nuclear energy plant and transfer the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licences to subsidiaries of NorthStar Group.

NorthStar Group is an environmental solutions company, which owns and maintains a large inventory of specialised dismantling equipment in the US. The sale is expected to expedite decommissioning and site restoration of Vermont Yankee nuclear power station by decades.

Energy Corporation also intends to speed up the transfer all the nuclear fuel spent to dry cask storage at the power station from 2018 to 2020.

"Our primary objective is to complete the decommissioning of the non-Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation portion of the site."

NorthStars' chief executive officer Scott State said: “Our in-house expertise, combined with the proven track record of our partners, provides the complete package of skills needed to ensure the timely, safe, cost-efficient decommissioning and restoration of the Vermont Yankee site.

“Our primary objective is to complete the decommissioning of the non-Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation portion of the site decades earlier than originally planned so that a majority of Vermont Yankee can be re-developed to promote business for the region.”

The sale of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee (ENVY) is subject to closing conditions, which also includes approval by the NRC and the Vermont Public Service Board.

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Both the companies will ask the board to approve proposed site restoration standards, and the transaction is anticipated to close by the end of 2018.

Entergy's wholesale commodities president Bill Mohl said: “Decommissioning and site restoration, drawing on NorthStar’s expertise, will provide economic development for the region.

“For Entergy, this transaction enables us to manage financial risk and reduce our company’s merchant power footprint.”