Tags

, , , , , , , ,

As has been seen https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/nuclear-reactor-licenses-us-nrc-cant-figure-out-to-whom-they-are-being-transferred-urgent-comment-deadline/, the US NRC doesn’t seem to know the name of the final holder of the nuclear license for River Bend and Waterford Nuclear Reactors in Louisiana – Entergy Louisiana Power, LLC. There were errors in the Federal Register. However, more dangerous is https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/dangerous-maximum-extended-load-line-limit-plus-for-largest-us-nuclear-reactor-urgent-comment-demand-hearing-now/ Both have a comment Deadline Jan. 2nd (can be anonymous); the second allows request for hearing until Feb. 2nd.

We haven’t ascertained, however, why Entergy wants to replace corporations, between itself and these nuclear reactors, with limited liability companies (LLCs). However, LLCs do not have to have routine meetings or keep detailed records, while corporations do, which can make accountability difficult to impossible. The fact that Entergy’s request in this matter occurred after Memorial Day and that the NRC comment period ran in the busy Thanksgiving to New Years Holiday Season, suggests that they are up to no good.

And, why will the new LLCs holding nuclear reactors in Louisiana be registered in Texas? It may be worth noting here that Louisiana has a legal system, which is distinct from the rest of the US, with the possible exception of Alaska. This may also create problems in holding the Texas based Entergy subsidiaries accountable.

Since Entergy made the final licensee (Entergy Louisiana Power, LLC.) abundantly clear throughout their application document, and the NRC apparently could not find the name, it seems that they are lacking in either the will or intelligence to see what, if anything, Entergy is up to. This discusses an attempt by Entergy to spin off nuclear liabilities a few years ago: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/big-easy-nuclear-reactors-that-care-forgot/

Comment-more info here (it can be anonymously). Deadline 2 Jan, 11.59 pm Washington DC (ET), unless an extension is given due to inaccurate posting to the Federal Register: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NRC-2014-0258-0001 https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/12/03/2014-28422/river-bend-station-unit-1-and-waterford-steam-electric-station-unit-3-consideration-of-approval-of Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0258

As seen in these diagrams, Inc. (corporations) are being replaced by LLCs (Limited Liability companies):
Current ownership Application for Order Approving License Transfers and Conforming License Amendments , Entergy Operations, Inc. (All Dockets) River Bend Station Docket Nos. 50-458 & 72-49 Waterford 3 Steam Electric Station Docket Nos. 50-382 & 72-75"
proposed ownership Application for Order Approving License Transfers and Conforming License Amendments , Entergy Operations, Inc. (All Dockets) River Bend Station Docket Nos. 50-458 & 72-49 Waterford 3 Steam Electric Station Docket Nos. 50-382 & 72-75"
From “River Bend Station, Waterford 3 Steam Electric Station, CNRO-2014-00007, Application for Order Approving License Transfers and Conforming License Amendments.http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1416/ML14161A698.pdf

About Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) – Holding Companies

In the absence of express statutory guidance, most American courts have held that LLC members are subject to the same common law alter ego piercing theories as corporate shareholders. However, it is more difficult to pierce the LLC veil because LLCs do not have many formalities to maintain.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_liability_company

Texas law confirms that there is not a requirement for keeping minutes, i.e. formal records, of meetings:
Subsection (a)(2): “(2) minutes of the proceedings of the owners or members or governing authority of the filing entity and committees of the owners or members or governing authority of the filing entity;“. “(c) The records required by Subsection (a)(2) need not be maintained by a limited partnership or a limited liability company except to the extent required by its governing documents.”…” “(b) A limited liability company is not required to keep or make available at its principal office in the United States a written statement of the information required by Subsection (a)(7) if that information is stated in a written company agreement…” “(7) except as provided by Subsection (b), a written statement of:
(A) the amount of a cash contribution and a description and statement of the agreed value of any other contribution made or agreed to be made by each member;
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/BO/htm/BO.3.htm (Note that we did not find (a)(7) and think they probably meant (7)(A) above).

The NRC Staff has expressed concern that the use of holding company structures can lead to a diminution of the assets necessary for the safe operation and decommissioning of a licensee’s nuclear power plant.” (From “Safety Evaluation by the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation ‘Related to Proposed Corporate Restructuring of Commonwealth Edison Company,” October 5, 2000, p. 3, cited in “FINANCIAL INSECURITY: The Increasing Use of Limited Liability Companies and Multi-Tiered Holding Companies to Own Nuclear Power Plants” By: David Schlissel, et. al. Synapse Energy Economics. For: STAR Foundation Riverkeeper, Inc. August 7, 2002 http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0803/ML080380500.pdf

One way the nuclear industry is dealing with the changing energy climate is though shell games: They are restructuring and setting up complex holding companies that push profits to shareholders, while reneging on side agreements that made license extensions, power up-rates or ownership changes palatable to state and local regulators.http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15149Ducking Responsibility: Entergy Spins Its Nukes” by Shay Totten, Special to CorpWatch, August 4th, 2008

A particular concern regarding the use of LLCs is the situation where a parent corporation inserts several layers of LLCs between itself and the entity operating a high-risk business. Each of those intervening LLCs can act as a barrier to extending liability to the parent corporation that contains most of the assets. …this approach appears to have been embraced by the parent corporations that recently have been purchasing nuclear plants. If a nuclear plant was unable to cover its liabilities, it might require several separate litigations, or a very large and complex single litigation, to pierce all the corporate veils back to the parent corporation with the bulk of the assets.” From “FINANCIAL INSECURITY: The Increasing Use of Limited Liability Companies and Multi-Tiered Holding Companies to Own Nuclear Power Plants, ” by: David Schlissel, et. al. Synapse Energy Economics For: STAR Foundation Riverkeeper, Inc., August 7, 2002 http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0803/ML080380500.pdf

Possible clues from: “River Bend Station, Waterford 3 Steam Electric Station, CNRO-2014-00007, Application for Order Approving License Transfers and Conforming License Amendments“, one learns that the new company, Entergy Utility Holding Company, LLC, which holds the licensee Entergy Louisiana Power, LLC, is giving not less than 21% of voting power to “preferred membership interests held by third party, unaffiliated investors“:
Step #5 – EGS LLC will contribute the membership interests of EGSP LLC and the units of Class B common membership interests of EHCL to LP&L LLC, and ELL will contribute the membership interests of ELP and the units of Class B common membership interests of EHCL to LP&L LLC. As a result of the contributions, EGSP LLC and ELP (the entities holding the former assets and liabilities of EGS LLC and ELL, respectively) will be subsidiaries of LP&L LLC (the holding company).

Simultaneously with the contributions described in this Step #5, LP&L LLC will issue voting preferred membership interests to third party, unaffiliated investors. The holders of the preferred membership interests will possess not less than 21% of the voting power of LP&L LLC (for matters submitted to a vote of all the shareholders of LP&L LLC). As a result of the preferred membership interest issuance, LP&L LLC will have two classes of outstanding membership interests: (1) common membership interests held by Entergy Corporation, ELL and EGS LLC; and (2) preferred membership interests held by third party, unaffiliated investors.

Step #6 – EGSP LLC will merge with and into ELP, with ELP surviving the merger. Immediately after that merger, LP&L LLC will change its name to “Entergy Utility Holding Company, LLC,” and Entergy Energy Company LLC will change its name to “Louisiana Power & Light Company, LLC.”

Step #7 – EGSHI will convert to a Texas limited liability company, and ELHI will convert to a Texas limited liability company.

An ‘electric utility’ is exempted from the requirement to submit financial qualifications information under 10 CFR 50.33(f)…
http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1416/ML14161A698.pdf

Recent River Bend Incident

AUTOMATIC REACTOR SCRAM

“At 0837 [CST] on 12/25/14, a loss of Reactor Protection System (RPS) ‘B’ occurred which resulted in a Division 2 RPS half SCRAM. This occurred concurrent with a Division 1 RPS half SCRAM which had been inserted for LCO 3.3.1.1 Action ‘A’ due to issues with the #2 turbine control valve RPS logic on 12/23/14. This resulted in a full RPS actuation and Reactor SCRAM. During the SCRAM, a reactor water Level ‘8’ occurred which tripped the running reactor feed pump. Reactor water level peaked at 56 inches. This Level ‘8’ is under investigation. Once reactor water level lowered below 51 inches the Level ‘8’ signal was reset, and the team attempted to start the ‘C’ reactor feed water pump.

“The ‘C’ reactor feed pump failed to start upon attempt. The ‘A’ reactor feed pump was then started successfully. The startup feed regulating valve failed to open in automatic or manual mode, resulting in an RPV Level ‘3’ signal (lowering to 8.1 inches). The operators manually aligned the ‘C’ feed water regulating valve and restored reactor water level to normal band. The plant is stable in Mode 3 pending investigation.

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2014/20141229en.html

EMPHASIS-BOLD ADDED THROUGHOUT POST.