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

No Rate Hike in PG&E Reorganization Plan

LCG, Sept. 21, 2001--Pacific Gas & Electric Co. filed a reorganization plan yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco that the company said would allow it to pay its creditors in full without raising customer rates.

The plan drew fire from a leading California lawmaker who said it was simply a way for the utility to escape state regulation by transferring its assets to a federally regulated subsidiary.

"This is utility executives acting out their wildest fantasies about deregulation," said Fred Keeley, a Boulder Creek Democrat and the state Assembly's point man on energy.

Under the plan, the utility would split from its parent company, PG&E Corp., and form three new companies into which it would transfer its generating and electric and gas transmission assets.

Robert D. Glynn Jr., chief executive of PG&E's parent holding company PG&E Corp. and chairman of PG&E, said the utility could pay its creditors "without asking for a rate increase or a state bailout."

One of the three new companies would own the utility's natural gas transmission assets, another its hydroelectric generating stations and the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and the third its electric power transmission system. All three would be subsidiaries of PG&E Corp. and not subject to regulation by the California Public Utilities Commission.

By escaping CPUC regulation, the assets could be used at full value as collateral for borrowing money. As it is, regulators allow only a portion of the assets' value to be used as collateral.

The utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. would be spun off by PG&E Corp. and become an entirely separate company, with its own stock.

Keeley said the plan was a good reason why the legislature should continue trying to pass a rescue package for Southern California Edison Co. to keep the state's second-largest utility from bankruptcy court, where flawed plans such as PG&E's are hatched.

According to PG&E, the plan would allow it to pay in full the $13.2 billion it owes to creditors. All creditors owed less than $100,000 would be paid in full and in cash immediately upon the reorganization plan becoming effective, which the company said could be by the end of next year.

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