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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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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

NRG Backs Out of Nuclear Expansion Project in Texas

LCG, April 20, 2011--NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG) yesterday announced that it will write down its investment in the development of South Texas Project (STP) units 3 and 4. Moreover, NRG stated that it will not invest additional funds in the STP development effort.

Last month the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a favorable final environmental impact statement (EIS) for building the two, 1,350-MW Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) at the South Texas Project, an existing nuclear station located approximately 90 miles southwest of Houston. Nuclear Innovation North America (NINA), a partnership between NRG and Toshiba Corp., applied for the permits in late 2007. NINA had planned to receive a construction license next year and commence operations of the two units in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

NRG's backing out of the STP project is driven by the recent events in Japan. NRG's President and CEO stated, "The tragic nuclear incident in Japan has introduced multiple uncertainties around new nuclear development in the United States which have had the effect of dramatically reducing the probability that STP 3 and 4 can be successfully developed in a timely fashion. We continue to believe both in the absolute necessity of a U.S. nuclear renaissance and that STP 3 and 4 is the best new nuclear development project in the country bar none. However, the extraordinary challenges facing U.S. nuclear development in the present circumstance and the very considerable financial resources expended by NRG on the project over the past five years make it impossible for us to justify to our shareholders any further financial participation in the development of the STP project."

NRG stated that NINA has suspended indefinitely all detailed engineering work and other pre-construction activities and will be focused solely on securing (i) a combined operating license (COL) from the NRC and (ii) a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company currently operates units 1 and 2, which are 1,410-MW pressurized water reactors that commenced operations in the late 1980s. STP ownership is divided among NRG at 44 percent, San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy at 40 percent, and Austin Energy at 16 percent.
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