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NRC Issues Subsequent License Renewals for First Time to Nuclear Reactors in Florida

LCG, December 11, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently approved Florida Power & Light's (FPL's) application for an additional 20 years of operation for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4. This is the first time the NRC has issued renewed licenses authorizing reactor operation from 60 to 80 years. The subsequent (or second) license renewals (SLRs) for Turkey Point Unit 3 and Unit 4 now expire on July 19, 2052 and April 10, 2053, respectively.

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New York Poised to Close Last Coal-fire Power Plant

LCG, December 4, 2019--The last operating coal-fired power plant in New York is moving toward closure shortly. Last month, Somerset Operating Company, a subsidiary of Riesling Power LLC, submitted a request to the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) to waive the state's required, 180-day notice to close the Somerset Station, allowing the facility to be retired on February 15, 2020. Closure is contingent on approvals by both NYSPSC and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which will evaluate if it will cause an adverse effect on grid reliability.

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Industry News

State Squeezes Through Another Hot Day

LCG, Aug. 2, 2000--The California Independent System Operator declared its daily Stage 2 "Power Watch" yesterday and is likely to do so again today, but so far during this five-day heat wave, the state has squeezed through with power to spare.

If a reserve margin of about 2 percent can be called "power to spare."

Peak demand on the statewide electrical grid yesterday was 45,503 megawatts and Cal-ISO said it expects that to increase to 45,723 megawatts today. Those figures are awfully close to the state record of 45,884 megawatts, set on July 12 of last year.

Cal-ISO has three levels of power watch. When reserves look like they are going to be tight, a Stage 1 power watch is called, and customers are asked to reduce their electricity consumption by drying the laundry at midnight and setting the air-conditioner thermostat a notch higher.

If that doesnt do the trick, Cal-ISO will declare a Stage 2 power watch, like yesterday and today. Stage 2 involves service interruption to customers with interruptible power contracts with their utilities.

If demand exceeds available capacity, a Stage 3 power watch would be called. Involuntary service interruptions, or rolling blackouts, would begin and wouldnt stop until the emergency had passed.

Cal ISO hasnt had to call a Stage 3 emergency, but all it would take is one big power plant to trip off line, or a high voltage transmission line to short out to a tree.

California imports about a quarter of its power from other states, over high voltage transmission lines. In the summer of 1996, one of those lines in Oregon shorted out to a tree. The load was shifted to other lines and they shut down. Pretty soon, power plants in California began shutting down to protect themselves. This all happens automatically.

Eventually, in that incident four years ago, a massive power outage affected the 13 western states.

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