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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

Abraham Says Three Mile Island No Longer Relevant

LCG, May 29, 2001Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said Friday that the accident at Three Mile Island in 1979 was irrelevant and should not be allowed to deter development of new nuclear power plants in the United States.

Abraham spoke to reporters following a tour of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear facility in southern Maryland, where he said "In my view we need to stop living in the past." Calvert Cliffs, owned by the holding company for Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., is the first U.S. nuclear plant to have been granted a 20-year extension to its original 40-year operating license.

"We need to stop thinking of this (nuclear) industry in terms exclusively dictated by Three Mile Island," Abraham said.

The accident at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 plant near Middletown, Pa., on March 28, 1979, was the most serious in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant operating history, even though it led to no injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community.

Detailed studies of the radiological consequences of the accident have been conducted by the Nuclear Regulator Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the Department of Energy, and the State of Pennsylvania, and found that radioactive exposure was inconsequential.

Several independent studies concluded that the average dose to about 2 million people in the area was about only about 1 millirem. The average dose of radioactivity from a chest x-ray is about 6 millirem.

Abraham pointed out that nuclear power plant designs have been upgraded in the past 20 years and the plants are better run. "We need to look at nuclear energy as a source of electricity generation in today's context, not as if the clock stopped in 1979," he said.

In its energy plan, the administration called on the NRC to relicense nuclear power plants that have good safety records and speed up the process for licensing new power plants. Abraham also said additional reactors could be built on the sites of existing plants.

"We need to recognize that the improvements in safety and technology in the last 20 plus years have brought us to the point where nuclear energy clearly can provide electricity...in a safe fashion for more Americans," he said.

Abraham also noted that nuclear generation provides the cleanest form of electricity known and that more use of nuclear power plants would be beneficial to the environment.

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