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

Legal Action Could Prevent Utah Gas Drilling

LCG, Aug. 26, 2003--Efforts by a prominent gas extraction company to tap resources in Utah are being challenged by environmental interests who want to preserve centuries-old rock carvings in the Nine-Mile Canyon.

The Bill Barrett Corp. purchased a lease from the federal government covering 53,000 acres, and developed plans to drill seven wells and conduct seismic testing within an area of 80 square miles. It did so within the context of falling gas production in most areas of the United States, and an average drilling permitting time that has nearly doubled to six months, from about three months in 2001.

The Nine-Mile Canyon is part of an area that is now home mostly to elk. Although the Bureau of Land Management was nearly ready to approve drilling within the canyon in May, the substance of an environmental assessment that had been paid for by Bill Barrett Corp. was found by an attorney for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Stephen Bloch, to have left out some requirements concerning notification of Hopi and Navajo tribes. Bloch indicated he would be willing to take legal action if certain oversights were not corrected.

As a result, drilling would start in 2004 if not later. The company has made it clear that it believes the magnitude of the resources that could be extracted would provide for several thousand residences for at least two decades, and is holding on to its objective of conducting seismic tests in the area as well as drilling. As the Bureau of Land Management waits for a revised environmental assessment, the SUWA is also adamant in contending that the sight of the rock carvings should not be spoiled by well pads or heavy traffic. As most new power plants are fueled by natural gas, and production from existing gas wells in easily accessible areas is declining, such legal battles are likely to continue.
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