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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

Virginia Power Plant Faces Opposition

LCG, Sept. 17, 20A plan by the U.S. arm of Belgian utility Tractebel to build a power plant in northernmost Virginia is meeting with strong local "not in my backyard" sentiment as well as opposition from the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

Tractebel has plans for either a 1,400 megawatt facility or a smaller, 535 megawatt plant, either of which would be fueled by natural gas and built on an 82 acre site south of Leesburg. Power would be sold into the regional wholesale market once the Virginia electric industry opens to competition next year.

Much of the opposition to the plant comes from residents of the semi-rural countryside who live within commute distance of the national capital. These days, when you buy a farm you don't want anything as ugly as a tractor to spoil the view. Local critics also contend that the plant would be built to provide power to out-of-state customers.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, which would be required to approve a zoning change for the larger version, unanimously opposed any plant on the Leesburg site.

In August, the staff of the Virginia Corporation Commission recommended that the commission's examiner deny Tractebel's application to build the plant. The staff report cites the local opposition, zoning appeals by critics of the project and uncertainty surrounding gas delivery to the proposed plant.

Tractebel's Mark Berry still confident the plant well get state approval. "We don't want to presuppose what the commission will do," he says "but of course we are optimistic." He also rebuts critics who argue the plant is built to provide energy for New York and other far-off places.

"Our intention is to sell in Virginia," he says.

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