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

Senate Votes To Approve Yucca Mtn. As Nuclear Repository

LCG, July 10, 2002--A vote yesterday by the Senate on using Yucca Mountain, Nev., as a national repository for spent nuclear fuel resulted in a 60-to-39 decision in which fifteen Democrats voted with all but three Senate Republicans to approve the site.

The vote, echoing an earlier vote by the House, gives momentum to related activity by the Department of Energy, which will seek approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for licensing waste storage at the Yucca site. Four lawsuits have been brought by Nevada on procedural and constitutional grounds that may delay, if not halt, the Department of Energy's progress.

Supporters of the site have said that without Yucca Mountain serving as a repository, where waste would be stored 1,000 feet below ground, detractors offer no solution as to how to handle radioactive waste produced at nuclear power plants and facilities across the country. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said that nuclear power is a "clean, efficient source," which he noted is produced in 39 states. Without nuclear power, he asked, "How do they propose that we fuel this growing economy in America?"

Opponents, including Tom Daschle, D-.S.D., said that transportation of waste represents an issue that has yet to be fully resolved, as the planned date for storing waste, 2010, approaches. "Once people thoughtfully consider the ramifications of moving 77,000 tons of nuclear waste through 39 states, they're going to have a lot of second thoughts about the advisability of doings so," said Daschle. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., voiced concern that containment of waste at the site has not been insured, risking contamination of groundwater used by Californians.

The Nuclear Technical Review Board, created by Congress in 1987, was charged with reviewing the scientific basis for the Department of Energy's assessment process as the DOE evaluated the suitability of Yucca Mountain. While the board has made no recommendations concerning an ultimate decision on Yucca, its status report in May on the DOE's process concluded that the technical basis for volanic and seismic event-related risk measures was one of the Department's "strengths," and its work on waste containment was one of its "weaknesses."
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