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

California Capsule: More of the Same

LCG, Feb. 15, 2001As of today, there are oodles of new electricity laws working their way through the California legislature and scads of new regulations have been proposed by the administrative branch of the state government. Those are the latest figures available.

Perhaps the oddest approach taken by those seeking to remedy California's fouled up electric industry is that which would spend hundreds of millions of dollars on energy conservation measures that is, getting people to use less electricity. It seems from this small observatory that the same result could be achieved free, by allowing electric rates to follow the market. When someone who is used to paying $50 a month for electricity gets a bill for $150, he will figure out without help how to use less.

Here are some actual occurrences, ideas proferred and steps taken during the past 24 hours to solve California's power crisis:

  • About a month ago, AES Corp. said it could help ease the California power shortage by restarting two units at its Huntington Beach power plant which had been taken out of service in 1995 by then-owner Southern California Edison Co. Today, the California Energy Commission announced it would begin hearings on the proposal. Among the things the commission needs to learn are "air quality, biological resources, water resources, visual aspects, and any other issue of interest" to participants in the hearings. This at an existing power plant.

  • The amount the California has spent on emergency power since January 17 when Gov. Gray Davis declared an emergency because suppliers would no longer sell power to two nearly bankrupt utilities has soared to $2.3 billion and there is no end in sight. The state is buying power in the volatile spot market, which is what got the utilities into financial difficulty. The utilities were forced to do so, the state is not.

  • Gov. Davis endorsed the state's purchase of the transmission assets of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and SoCal Edison. He also seemed to think that state-owned power plants were a foregone conclusion. "It doesn't do us any good just to build power plants," the governor told a news conference. "We've got to get the maximum efficiency we can out of our existing transmissionlines." Note the use of pronouns in the first person.

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday denied a request by the California Independent System Operator to relax its creditworthiness standards and allow near-bankrupt utilities to get power. When the impoverished ISO buys power it does so with the state's utilities' money. The utilities no longer have money, so it appears the ISO will have to turn to the state for the wherewithall to purchase power for the utilities to deliver to retail customers, who are also taxpayers. And voters.

  • PG&E Corp. said yesterday that bank lenders have inducated they won't take action on a $1 billion revolving credit line default of PG&E. until March 6. The utility announced the default last month, and the banks' forbearance gives it a little wiggle room in its negotiations with Gov. Davis and the state legislature.

  • El Paso Corp. chief executive Officer Bill Wise said his company was concerned about its growing credit risk in California where it is owed about $100 million for natural gas and electricity supplied to PG&E and SoCal Edison. Wise said El Paso was owed money for natural gas supplied to PG&E and for electric power supplied to both utilities.

  • The California Public Utilities Commission will discuss today proposals to cap rates utilities pay to small power generators in the state. The regulators will also try to cook up evidence that PG&E and SoCal Edison violated PUC rulings with their holding company structures.

  • The California Agricultural Energy Consumers Association, an agribusiness group, warned that the electricity problem poses a severe threat to the state's $27 billion farming industry as it moves toward the peak growing and harvesting season. The farmers want to be protected from increased rates, immune from outages and get state loans and grants for new small generators, conservation facilities and other equipment that would allow the industry to generate is own power.

  • The Orange County Register reported this morning that Gov. Davis has seized $30 million from community and park projects - including several in Orange County to finance bonuses for power generators that open new plants in time for the summer heat wave.

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