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

Extraction from Canadian Oilsands to Require Much More Energy

LCG, Jan. 29, 2003--In order to increase the amount of oil extracted from oilsands in northern Alberta, experts expect that a significant amount of steam will be required, but where the energy to produce the steam will come from is still being investigated.

Suggestions that nuclear power could be used were raised in the 1970's, then dropped as it appeared too costly an option. If oilsands account for a large part of future growth in Canadian oil production as expected, however, it could theoretically require all of Alberta's gas output. This is based on production of four million barrels per day in 2025, said Bob Taylor, an assistant deputy minister with Alberta Energy, part of the provincial government. In order to extract the bitumen in sands 75 meters underground and make it into synthetic oil, energy equivalent to a third of the amount obtained is currently needed.

A developer of nuclear plants, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., has commissioned a study by the independent Canadian Energy Research Institute to investigate the cost-competitiveness of a small-scale nuclear power plant. While the last nuclear plant to be brought into operation in Canada came online in 1993, it was $11.6 billion overbudget. ($11 billion was invested in oilsands projects during 2001 and 2002.) Natural gas prices have been quite volatile recently, however, and gas is a source of greenhouse emissions, unlike nuclear power.

According to Bob Dunbar, a senior director with the Canadian Energy Research Institute, his company's study shows so far that "nuclear would be an economically competitive option with gas." The study will be finalized next month.
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