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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

Arrests Imminent in Tokaimura Nuke Accident

LCG, Aug. 25, 2000--Police plan to arrest three, and possible more, officials of JCO Co., operators of the uranium processing plant in Tokaimura, Japan, where a "criticality accident," or unplanned chain reaction, killed two workers last September and exposed hundreds of people in the area to radiation.

Kyodo News Services reported today that the JCO employees will be arrested sometime next month and charge with professional negligence resulting in death and injury.

The news agency said that criminal charges will be brought against Hiroharu Kitani, former president of JCO, and other JCO executives for violations of the nuclear facility operation law, but did not speculate whether they would be arrested.

The accident took place Sept. 30, 1999 when Hisashi Ouchi and Masato Shinohara -- the two fatally-injured workers -- and another JCO employee poured buckets of uranium into a tank of nitric acid, setting off a chain reaction. Reports said there was a tell-tale flash of blue light, indicating the mixture had "gone critical."

Operating procedures for Japanese nuclear power plants are based on the Law Concerning the Regulation of Nuclear Raw Materials, Nuclear Fuel Materials and Nuclear Reactors, which does not envision the use of buckets to transport and mix uranium. The workers said they were trying to save time.

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