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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

NRC Website Shutdown Could Boost Power Prices

LCG, Oct. 15, 2001--The decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to temporarily shut down its Website over concerns that it was providing terrorists with too much information could push up wholesale electricity prices, according to a report by Reuters news agency.

The NRC closed the site last Thursday, posting the message "Our site is not operational at this time. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has taken the action to shut down its web site. In support of our mission to protect public health and safety, we are performing a review of all material on our site. We appreciate your patience and understanding during these difficult times."

Icons on the site, which ordinarily lead to directories and maps showing the location of commercial nuclear reactors, design specifications for each facility and other possibly sensitive information were unclickable.

Gone was a link to the agency's daily plant status report, a Web page that electricity traders look to for fundamental market supply data, Reuters said. EnergyOnline Daily News checks the page daily to learn of outages and unusual events at the nations nuclear power plants.

"If they find some reason this information would be dangerous in the hands of a terrorist, then I'm all for keeping it off the Web site," an unnamed trader told Reuters, echoing the views of all the power traders the news agency surveyed.

The traders warned, however, that keeping the information from the marketplace would give reactor owners and the local utilities they supply a big advantage over energy marketers who have no power plants in the area.

Nuclear power plants are big -- on the order of 1,000 megawatts per reactor -- and they are baseload plants, producing electricity nearly 100 percent of the time for a year or two at a stretch. When one reactor comes off line, replacement power must be found for it.

Because nuclear power is among the lowest cost source of electricity, the replacement power frequently costs a great deal more. Energy traders, without knowing the status of the reactors, will have to hedge their bets, which could lead to higher prices.

"You take in all the information available, process it and make a best guess at what the price of power will be each day based on what plants are available, what the weather is, what the cost of fuel is. Not knowing where the nukes are is just another unknown that will cost money," a trader told Reuters.

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