NRC Issues Early Site Permit to Tennessee Valley Authority for SMRs at Clinch River Site

LCG, December 27, 2019--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced on December 17 that the Commission has authorized the issuance of an Early Site Permit (ESP) for Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA's) Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The ESP closes several site-related issues, including many environmental impacts, for small modular reactors (SMRs) at the site. The ESP is the first issued by the NRC for SMRs and will be valid for up to 20 years from date of issuance.

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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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Industry News

Hope Creek, Palo Verde 3 Complete Speedy Refuelings

LCG, Nov. 6, 2001--The 1,031 megawatt Hope Creek nuclear power plant operated by PSEG Nuclear near Wilmington, Del., was ramping up to full power following a 24-day refueling outage, the shortest in the plant's 15-year history, Public Service Enterprise Group said yesterday.

Also yesterday, Arizona Public Service Co.'s 1,270 megawatt Palo Verde Unit 3 reactor rejoined the grid following a 37-day refueling outage, which was one of the shortest ever for Unit 3, but no record.

Both companies stressed that high standards of safety were achieved during the outages. This reflects a change in the nuclear culture of U.S. utilities which has resulted in record-breaking performance from the nation's atomic power plants in the last two or three years.

Industry-wide, the capacity factor of nuclear generation has pushed above 90 percent, surpassing that for any other form of generation. In 1999, the cost of electricity produced in nuclear power plants was 1.83 cents per kilowatt-hour, the lowest of any form of generation.

Harry Keiser, chief nuclear officer of PSEG and president of PSEG Nuclear, was pleased with the short duration of the Hope Creek refueling outage, but said the "real indicator" of the company's nuclear operations "is our stellar safety performance." He said that performance should "reinforce to the local community that nuclear safety and the health and safety of the public remains our top priority."

The high capacity factor of the nuclear power industry is the result of carefully planned refueling outages, during which much of a plant's maintenance is accomplished, according to Gregg Overbeck, senior vice president of nuclear operations for APS, which operates Palo Verde. "Our steady, consistent operations between refueling outages depend on executing large amounts of quality work during very aggressive refueling schedules," he said.

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