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

TVA Approved to Produce Nuclear Weapon Supplies

LCG, September 24, 2002-NRC has given the TVA permission to produce radioactive products for use in nuclear weapons.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which owns nearly 30,000 megawatts in generating capacity and serves utility customers in seven states, will now be able to put as many as 2,304 tritium-producing rods in its Watts Bar nuclear plant.

The plant will require 18 months to produce tritium, and the product will be shipped to South Carolina to serve a Department of Energy tritium plant being built there.

Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, which can be used to adjust the nuclear reaction in nuclear bombs, although nuclear explosions derive the vast majority of their energy from reactions of either plutonium or uranium. Radiation from tritium cannot penetrate skin but constitutes a health hazard if the tritium is ingested or inhaled. The isotope has a half life of just 12.3 years, as compared with isotopes of uranium, which have half lives of hundreds of millions of years.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which serves Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, has also requested permission to produce tritium at a Chattanooga plant.

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