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

FutureGen Project Gains Momentum

LCG, December 7, 2005--The Department of Energy (DOE) and the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, Inc. (Alliance) announced yesterday that they have executed an agreement to develop and build FutureGen, a prototype of a coal-fired power plant that would produce electricity and hydrogen with a target of zero-emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas.

The DOE and the Alliance will jointly develop the project, including siting, technology selection, construction and operation. The U.S. government is expected to invest about $700 million in the project. Alliance will contribute $250 million to the project. The members of Alliance are: American Electric Power, BHP Billiton, CONSOL Energy Inc., Foundation Coal, China Huaneng Group, Kennecott Energy, Peabody Energy, and Southern Company.

The Alliance and DOE plan a site selection process that includes a solicitation in early 2006, with a final selection in the latter half of 2007. Many states, in particular coal-producing states, are vying to become the host for the $1 billion project. The target year to commence operations of the new, 275-MW power plant is 2012.

The project includes multiple budget periods. The first period extends through the end of January 2007 and includes $10.2 million to be used to support the site selection and to develop the project design and cost. The scope will include the consideration of consuming a wide range of coal supplies with varying qualities.

The promise of the project is to demonstrate the viability of coal-fired, power stations using an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant design as part of a strategy to capture and sequester CO2. The IGCC design includes coal gasification, with the gas from the coal passed through a gas turbine to generate electricity. The hot exhaust gas from the turbine heats water to produce steam to power a steam turbine and generate electricity a second time. Alternatively, future derivations of the plant could focus on a gasification process to produce hydrogen to fuel hydrogen-powered cars and trucks.

The gasification process included in the IGCC design enables the CO2, along with other emissions, to be readily separated. The captured CO2 is planned to be injected as a compressed fluid deep into the earth's surface, possibly into saline reservoirs, oil or gas reservoirs, or into unmineable coal seams, to enhance petroleum or coalbed methane recovery. Once injected into these formations, the CO2 would be expected to be permanently isolated from the atmosphere. The project will include an intensive measurement and monitoring effort to verify the efficacy of carbon sequestration. The project goal will be to capture 90 percent of the CO2.

Last month the DOE announced that another DOE-funded project had successfully sequestered CO2 into the Weyburn Oilfield in Saskatchewan, Canada, while doubling the fields oil recovery rate.

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