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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

New York PSC Directs RG&E to Contract for Power from R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

LCG, November 17, 2014-The New York Public Service (PSC) ordered Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) to negotiate a power purchase agreement (PPA) for electricity generated from the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, which is owned by Constellation Nuclear Energy Group, a subsidiary of Chicago-based Exelon.

Constellation had petitioned for assistance from the PSC, stating that it had lost $100 million over the last three years and that it has forecast revenue shortfalls after the contract with RG&E expired at the end of last June. Exelon stated to the PSC, "Projected market revenues are insufficient to support the Ginna facility's continued operation."

Under the expired contract, RG&E purchased 90 percent of the power generated from the 581-MW nuclear power plant. After the expiration, Constellation has to accept competitive market prices. With relatively low natural gas prices and low market prices for electricity, the non-carbon emitting nuclear facility could be uneconomic to run, which could then lead to the closure of the facility. Based on a study released last month, closure of the base load, 44-year old nuclear facility, located 22 miles northeast of Rochester, could increase grid reliability risks.

The PSC stated that, with its order, it is acting to protect grid. The Chair of the PSC would like to develop a solution to maintain grid reliability until an alternative can be implemented.

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