NRC renews Beaver Valley operating licences

9 November 2009

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has renewed the operating licences for the Beaver Valley Power Station, units 1 and 2 for an additional 20 years. The new licences for the plants in Shippingport Pennsylvania will expire on 29 January 2036, and 27 May 2047, respectively.

The decision to renew the licences comes after thorough safety and environmental reviews of the application submitted in August 2007, by plant operator, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. In May, NRC staff concluded there were no environmental impacts that would preclude renewal of the license for environmental reasons. A month later, after careful review of the plants’ safety systems and specifications, the staff decided that there were no safety concerns that would preclude licence renewal and that FENOC had effectively demonstrated the capability to manage the effects of plant ageing.

On 16 September, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards – an independent body of technical experts that advises the Commission – issued its recommendation that licence renewal for Beaver Valley should be approved.

FENOC took ownership of Beaver Valley at the end of 1999 and launched a massive plant life managment and uprating programme, which has involved replacement of steam generators, turbines and the reactor vessel head at unit 1. Plans are now underway to replace the head and steam generators at unit 2 in 2017.

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