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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

NRC Approves Westinghouse Electric's AP1000 Nuclear Plant Design

LCG, January 4, 2006--The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved the Design Certification for Westinghouse Electric Company's AP1000 standard nuclear plant design on December 30, 2005. The AP1000 reactors are each able to generate 1,100 MW of electricity. With approval of the new design, which incorporates passive safety features that rely upon natural forces, the nuclear industry is poised to begin a new wave of expansion.

The AP1000 has been identified by Duke Power as the basis for its plans to prepare a combined construction and operating license (COL) application to construct two nuclear reactors. Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, plans to identify its preferred site this month and to submit the COL application to the NRC within the next 24-30 months.

NuStart Energy Development, LLC, a consortium formed to support the development of new nuclear reactors, plans to use the AP1000 in its application to the NRC for a COL at the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant (owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority) near Scottsboro, Alabama.

NuStart also plans to prepare and submit an application incorporating the General Electric (GE) Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station (owned by Entergy Nuclear) in Port Gibson, Mississippi. The GE design is also passive, with a nominal generating capacity of 1,550 MW. GE is trailing Westinghouse with respect to receiving Design Certification from the NRC. GE's application for the ESBWR Design Certification was submitted on August 25, 2005 and accepted as sufficient to be formally docketed and reviewed on December 2, 2005.

The development of new nuclear reactors is especially prevalent in the Southeast. Utilities, including Southern, Progress, SCANA, Santee Cooper, Duke, Entergy, and TVA have announced plans to add more than 15,000 MW of new nuclear generating capacity in the period from 2015 to 2017.

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