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TVA applies to renew licenses for Sequoyah nuclear plant


From the February 8, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published February 8, 2013

By Jeannine Anderson
Editor

The Tennessee Valley Authority said Feb. 6 that it has filed documents with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission asking the agency to extend operating licenses for both units at TVA's Sequoyah nuclear plant in east Tennessee. Those licenses expire in 2020 and 2021.

"By applying for a 20-year extension of our current operating license now, we are affirming to the NRC that our plant is safe and in solid material condition," said TVA Chief Nuclear Officer Preston Swafford. "Extending the operating life of this nuclear plant supports TVA’s vision to provide low-cost, cleaner electricity and a balanced energy portfolio."

The TVA board of directors approved the recommendation to submit the necessary paperwork to file a license renewal application. TVA said the license renewal process is expected to cost approximately $23 million, including NRC charges to TVA to review the applications. 

Renewing the existing licenses would allow the reactors to operate until 2040 and 2041, respectively. The NRC initially licenses nuclear plants for 40 years of operation, with an opportunity to request a license extension for an additional 20-year period.  

The NRC will conduct local public meetings over the next two years as part of the license application process. TVA said it will encourage public participation in the meetings.

Each of Sequoyah’s two reactors is capable of producing more than 1,160 megawatts. Together, they can generate enough electricity to supply about 1.3 million homes, TVA said. 

In 2006, the NRC renewed 20-year operating licenses for TVA's Browns Ferry units 1, 2 and 3, allowing them to operate until 2033, 2034 and 2036, respectively.

More information about Sequoyah is posted on TVA's website.


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