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

EPA Issues Final MATS Rule

LCG, April 3, 2013--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 29 issued the final rule for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for new coal- and oil-fired power plants, setting mercury limits slightly higher than the previous rule set in December 2011.

The EPA's action revises certain new source numerical limits in the MATS National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). Specifically, the EPA is finalizing revised hydrogen chloride (HCl), filterable particulate matter (fPM), sulfur dioxide (SO2), lead (Pb), and selenium emission limits for all new coal-fired electric generating units (EGUs); the mercury (Hg) emission limit for the "unit designed for coal > 8,300 Btu/lb subcategory;" fPM and SO2 emission limits for new solid oil-derived fuel-fired EGUs; fPM emission limits for new continental liquid oil-fired EGUs; and most of the emission limits for new integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) units.

The final rule sets the limit for mercury emissions for units not designed for low rank virgin coal at 0.003 pounds/GWh, which is slightly higher than the initial rule. Mercury emissions for units designed for low rank virgin coal were not opened for reconsideration.

With respect to fPM, emission limits from all new coal-fired power plants are set to 0.09 pound/MWh, and HCl emission limits are set to 0.01 pound/MWh.

The EPA stated, "Our analysis shows that new EGUs would choose to install and operate the same or similar air pollution control technologies in order to meet the revised emission limits as would have been necessary to meet the previously finalized standards. We project that this final action will result in no significant change in costs, emission reductions, or benefits. Even if there were changes in costs for these EGUs, such changes would likely be small relative to both the overall costs of the individual projects and the overall costs and benefits of the final rule. Further, we believe that EGUs would put on the same controls for this final action that they would have for the original final MATS rule, so there should not be any incremental costs related to this revision."
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