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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

Georgia Power's IRP Approved with 1,600 MW of New Renewable Generation

LCG, July 29, 2016--Georgia Power Company, a Southern Company subsidiary, received approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) for its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that includes the addition of 1,600 MW of renewable energy to its portfolio by 2021. The PSC also approved a revision of the Company's request to pass on and capitalize the costs of investigation and licensing costs for potential new nuclear units and to recover these costs from ratepayers in the future. Both proposals were approved by a 4-1 vote.

The new renewable energy portfolio will emphasize solar power, with the potential for up to 300 MW of wind power.

The approval of the nuclear proposal will allow Georgia Power to incur $99 million in costs for site suitability and Combined Operating License (COL) application development work for a nuclear plant in Stewart County in southwest Georgia. The motion includes the following conditions: the amount recorded for these activities will not exceed $99 million through the second quarter of 2019; Georgia Power will file a status report in its 2019 IRP; if the PSC determines in 2019 that any efforts to obtain a COL should be suspended or terminated, any cost incurred to that point in time will be deferred for recovery in a future rate case; the Company will file annual reports with the PSC updating the status of the investigation and development of the COL.

Georgia Power already operates two nuclear facilities: Hatch and Vogtle, both with two existing generating units. Plant Vogtle was constructed with the option to expand, and units 3 and 4 are now under construction, with operations expected in 2019 and 2020. Vogtle units 3 and 4 will be the first new nuclear units built in the U.S. in the last three decades and will be the first in the industry to use the Westinghouse AP1000 advanced pressurized water reactor technology.

A commissioner stated, "We've seen what happens when decisions are deferred, infrastructure crumbles and power is curtailed. We can debate the wisdom of the coal exodus but it must be replaced with something that is cost effective. Nuclear power remains among the lowest cost energy source, with a 92 percent reliability rating and it is carbon free. Nuclear deployment takes time and I refuse to sit on my hands."
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