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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

Nevada Power Says High-Priced Power Could Boost Rates

LCG, Mar. 5, 2002--The first day of a series of rate filing hearings by Nevada Power Co., the utility, elicited a note of caution on a possible additional 15 percent rate increase request.

The 15 percent would be in addition to an increase included in the filing being considered, which the utility says is based on the need to recover fuel and wholesale power costs paid last summer. The possible 15 percent rate request disclosed by senior vice president Steve Oldham would be needed, he said, if power purchase contracts that spread costs over time cannot be obtained. The energy costs already incurred total $922 million, and would be spread over three years, beginning April 1. If approved, the increase in the filing plus the impact of non-energy expenses would amount to a 23 percent boost in rates.

At the hearing, which took place Monday, Oldham noted that he was optimistic about the possibility of signing longer-term contracts, before more costly contracts were necessary at a later date. If a request for a one-year increase is made, it would take place with the next energy rate case, on Dec. 1.

Nevada Power last month requested unsuccessfully that the payback period for the $922 million be extended to six years, rather than the three years required by state law. Part of that cost would be made up of a 9.66 interest charge on the unpaid balance, which the company has justified as being necessary to provide sufficient return of capital to shareholders in the utility.

According to Dennis Schiffel, chief financial officer of the company, the rating services Moodys and Standard & Poors are considering a downgrade of the utilitys debt below investment grade. This would trigger an increase in borrowing costs.
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