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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

BrightSource Suspends Application for the 500-MW Hidden Hills Solar Project

LCG, April 8, 2013--BrightSource Energy Inc. notified the California Energy Commission (CEC) on April 3 that it will suspend the permit application for the Hidden Hills Solar Energy Generating System project.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) between BrightSource and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) will also be terminated. BrightSource stated that the termination is due to challenges associated with the project schedule and uncertainty around the timing of transmission upgrades.

The Hidden Hills Solar Energy Generating System project site is located on 3,280 acres of private land in Inyo County, California and is approximately 45 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada. The project was to be a 500-MW solar thermal complex using over 340,000 software-controlled mirrors to focus the sunlight on boilers that sit atop two 750 foot tall towers. The concentrated solar energy heats the water to create superheated steam that drives a standard turbine where electricity is generated.

The project was to include two solar fields and associated facilities: the northern solar plant (Solar Plant 1) and the southern solar plant (Solar Plant 2). Each solar plant would generate 270 MW gross (250 MW net), for a total net output of 500 MW. Construction was to have started in 2013, with power produced in 2015.

BrightSource stated that the contracts with PG&E did not originally include storage, and such a change would require an amendment to the permit application and reopening of the evidentiary record to account for impacts associated with a new project footprint, including a layout of the solar field, storage equipment and reconfiguration of the power blocks.
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