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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

Utilities Act to Face Scrutiny in US Senate

LCG, July 30, 2003The 1935 Public Utility Holding Company Act, which limits investment of utility profits, will face possible repeal this week as part of a larger energy bill.

The PUHCA bill prevents companies that own utilities from using regulated utility profits to fund other, unregulated businesses. The bill was passed by Congress to fend off pyramid-type business practices common during the 1920s and 30s. At that time, huge utility holding companies manipulated electric rates and were not liable for the debts of their utilities. Some scholars believe this practice had a significant hand in the stock market plunge before the Great Depression.

Many industry experts see PUHCA as an outdated bill, essentially limiting utilities and preventing foreign and non-utility companies from entering the market. Others see the bill as essential for preventing utility holding companies from moving outside of regulators control.

Large utilities are clearly very interested in the repeal, and the Bush administration finds PUHCA a relic of the past. Several organizations, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, strongly oppose the repeal.

While the House already chose to repeal the act in April, the Senate will consider the bill sometime in the next few days. Republican Senators have insisted that an energy bill will be passed by the end of the week, even if discussion must go into the weekend.

The energy bill in question also includes, among other matters, natural gas drilling, energy market issues, ethanol use, and SUV fuel efficiency.

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