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

Cal Power Authority may be Losing

LCG, Nov. 28, 2001--The California Power Authority, created earlier this year to build, own and operate new power plants as insurance against electricity outages, now says it probably won't need those power plants.

The new agency, headed by S. David Freeman, has halted negotiations to build by next summer 31 proposed projects with a combined capacity of 3,200 megawatts.

"It's looking less and less likely that these projects will be needed by next summer," said Amber Pasricha, a power authority spokeswoman.

On November 20, the California Energy Commission issued its 2002 Monthly Electricity Forecast which predicted that the state next summer will have a supply surplus of approximately 340 megawatts including new generation of 4,000 megawatts expected on line by July 2002.

A forced outage at any baseload power plant could plunge the state into another electricity deficit, resulting in rolling blackouts. A surplus of 340 megawatts in the control area of the California Independent System Operator represents a "cushion" of less than 1 percent, while most power professionals consider a reserve of 15 percent to be prudent.

Much of the state's power supply for next year and for up to 20 more years is in the form of long-term contracts negotiated by the California Department of Water Resources at an average cost of $69 per megawatt-hour -- more than twice today's going price.

Consumer advocates and state regulators want to see those contracts renegotiated, but the power producers are loath to accommodate them.

Now, Freeman sees a way to put the $5 billion funding for his agency to good use, if it isn't going to build power plants. He said the power authority could use its money to provide low-cost financing to companies already doing business with the state as an incentive for the companies to renegotiate their contracts.

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