US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued its final safety evaluation report (SER) for the proposed renewal of operating licenses for PPL Susquehanna, LLC’s Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, units 1 and 2. NRC has concluded that there are no open items that would preclude license renewal for an additional 20 years of operation.

The report documents the results of the NRC staff’s review of the license renewal application and site audits of the plant’s aging management programs to address the safety of plant operations during the period of extended operation. It represents the culmination of NRC’s comprehensive review of the application and inspection of the plant to verify license renewal implementation is consistent with the application. Overall, the results show that the applicant has identified actions that have been or will be taken to manage the effects of ageing in the appropriate safety systems, structures and components of the plant and that their functions will be maintained during the period of extended operation.

Issuing the final SER is a significant milestone in the license renewal review process. This process proceeds along two tracks – one for review of safety issues and another for environmental issues. The SER marks the completion of the NRC staff’s safety review that is published and subsequently reviewed and publicly discussed by the agency’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). The staff is in the process of reviewing the environmental part of the Susquehanna plant’s license renewal application. That review must be completed before a final decision is made on the renewal.

The SER and the license renewal application have been provided to the ACRS, an independent body of experts that advises the Commission on reactor safety matters

PPL has submitted an application to the NRC in September 2006 to extend the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station licenses by 20 years for each unit. The plant is located in Salem Township about five miles northeast of Berwick. The current 40-year operating licenses for Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, units 1 and 2 are due to expire on 17 July 2022 and 23 March 2024, respectively.

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