|NRG ENERGY, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/01/2018|
STP maintains required insurance coverage for liability claims arising from nuclear incidents pursuant to the Price-Anderson Act. Effective January 1, 2017, the current liability limit per incident is $13.44 billion, subject to change to account for the effects of inflation and the number of licensed reactors. An inflation adjustment must be made at least once every five years with the next due no later than September 10, 2018. Under the Price-Anderson Act, owners of nuclear power plants in the U.S. are required to purchase primary insurance limits of $450 million for each operating site. In addition, the Price-Anderson Act requires an additional layer of protection through mandatory participation in a retrospective rating plan for power reactors resulting in an additional $13 billion in funds available for public liability claims. The current maximum assessment per incident, per reactor, is approximately $127 million, taking into account a 5% adjustment for administrative fees, payable at approximately $19 million per year, per reactor. NRG would be responsible for 44% of the maximum assessment, or $8 million per year, per reactor, and a maximum of $112 million per incident. In addition, the U.S. Congress retains the ability to impose additional financial requirements on the nuclear industry to pay liability claims that exceed $13 billion for a single incident. The liabilities of the co-owners of STP with respect to the retrospective premium assessments for nuclear liability insurance are joint and several.
STP purchases insurance for property damage and site decontamination cleanup costs from Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, or NEIL, an industry mutual insurance company, of which STP is a member. STP has purchased $2.75 billion in limits for nuclear events and $1.5 billion in limits for non-nuclear events, the maximum available from NEIL. The upper $1.25 billion in limits (excess of the first $1.5 billion in limits) is a single limit blanket policy shared with two Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors, which have no affiliation with the Company. This shared limit is not subject to automatic reinstatement in the event of a loss. The NEIL policy covers both nuclear and non-nuclear property damage events, and a NEIL companion policy provides Accidental Outage coverage for the co-owners of STP's lost revenue following a property damage event, at a weekly indemnity limit of $2.52 million per unit up to a maximum of $274.4 million nuclear and $183.5 million non-nuclear, and is subject to an eight-week waiting period. NRG also purchases an Accidental Outage policy from NEIL, which provides protection for lost revenue due to an insurable event. This coverage allows for reimbursement up to $1.98 million per week per unit up to a maximum of $215.6 million nuclear and $144 million non-nuclear, and is subject to an eight-week waiting period. Under the terms of the NEIL policies, member companies may be assessed up to ten times their annual premium if the NEIL Board of Directors determines their surplus has been depleted due to the payment of property losses at any of the licensed reactors in a single policy year. NEIL requires that its members maintain an investment grade credit rating or insure their annual retrospective obligation by providing a financial guarantee, letter of credit, deposit premium, or an insurance policy. NRG has purchased an insurance policy from NEIL to guarantee the Company's obligation; however this insurance will only respond to retrospective premium adjustments assessed within twenty-four months after the policy term, whereas NEIL's Board of Directors can make such an adjustment up to 6 years after the policy expires.
The Company's material legal proceedings are described below. The Company believes that it has valid defenses to these legal proceedings and intends to defend them vigorously. NRG records reserves for estimated losses from contingencies when information available indicates that a loss is probable and the amount of the loss, or range of loss, can be reasonably estimated. As applicable, the Company has established an adequate reserve for the matters discussed below. In addition, legal costs are expensed as incurred. Management has assessed each of the following matters based on current information and made a judgment concerning its potential outcome, considering the nature of the claim, the amount and nature of damages sought, and the probability of success. Unless specified below, the Company is unable to predict the outcome of these legal proceedings or reasonably estimate the scope or amount of any associated costs and potential liabilities. As additional information becomes available, management adjusts its assessment and estimates of such contingencies accordingly. Because litigation is subject to inherent uncertainties and unfavorable rulings or developments, it is possible that the ultimate resolution of the Company's liabilities and contingencies could be at amounts that are different from its currently recorded reserves and that such difference could be material.
In addition to the legal proceedings noted below, NRG and its subsidiaries are party to other litigation or legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business. In management's opinion, the disposition of these ordinary course matters will not materially adversely affect NRG's consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows.
Midwest Generation Asbestos Liabilities — The Company, through its subsidiary, Midwest Generation, may be subject to potential asbestos liabilities as a result of its acquisition of EME. The Company is currently analyzing the scope of potential liability as it may relate to Midwest Generation. The Company believes that it has established an adequate reserve for these cases.
Energy Plus Holdings — On August 7, 2012, Energy Plus Holdings received a subpoena from the NYAG which generally sought information and business records related to Energy Plus Holdings' sales, marketing and business practices. Energy Plus Holdings provided documents and information to the NYAG. On June 22, 2015, the NYAG issued another subpoena seeking additional information. Energy Plus Holdings provided responsive documents to this second subpoena. On August 28, 2017, the parties entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance resolving this matter.