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

State Commission Only Authorizes One New Coal-fired Unit at Duke's Cliffside Station

LCG, March 1, 2007--The North Carolina Utilities Commission yesterday issued a summary "Notice of Decision" to approve a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for Duke Energy Carolinas to build only one of the two proposed 800-MW, coal-fired electric generating units at the Cliffside Steam Station in North Carolina. Prior to the decision, the plan called for the first unit to commence operations in 2011.

The Commission's approval is conditioned upon Duke retiring four aging, 100-MW units at the station when the new, 800-MW unit commences operations. The Commission noted that Duke did not demonstrate the need for both units. Duke will also be required by the Commission to invest one percent of its annual retail electric revenues into energy efficiency programs if the new unit is built. The Commission is expected to issue a detailed order shortly.

Duke stated that it now plans further review of the project prior to proceeding with installing just one unit. One particular concern is that the project economics may suffer, as the cost estimates presumed that two units would be built and that certain economies of scale would be gained.

Duke originally filed its CPCN with the Commission in May 2005, with the project cost estimated to be $2 billion. In October 2006, Duke filed a revised, $3 billion estimate with the Commission on a confidential basis. In November 2006, the $3 billion cost estimate was released in response to pressure from opponents that were aware of Duke's filing a confidential cost update with the Commission. The cost increase was driven by new, firm price quotes for major components of the planned facility.

As a result of dramatic increase in the estimated project cost, the recent hearing was scheduled to address the accuracy of project cost estimate and whether the proposed project is the most economically feasible alternative. Prior to the fifty percent increase in the estimated cost, the Commission had planned to rule on the CPCN by the end of 2006.

Additional regulatory hurdles remain prior to constructing a single coal unit. The North Carolina Division of Air Quality must grant an air quality permit, and the air permit must be approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
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