The Tennessee Valley Authority says it is preparing a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) on the potential effect of extending the operating licences for its two-unit Sequoyah nuclear plant. The licence renewal process is expected to cost about $20 million, including NRC charges to TVA to review the applications.

The TVA Board of Directors is expected to decide if licence renewal applications will be submitted after the environmental review is completed and TVA’s readiness to prepare the applications is evaluated.

Renewing the existing licences will allow the plant to operate beyond 2020 and 2021, when the current licences expire for units 1 and 2, respectively. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission licences new nuclear plants for 40 years of operation and for an additional 20 years if a renewal application is approved.

“Renewing the operating licence of the Sequoyah plant will allow us to continue to provide reliable, safe and clean electricity for the consumers in our service area,” said chief nuclear officer Preston Swafford. “Using existing non-air-polluting plants like Sequoyah for an additional 20 years helps us keep electricity costs affordable while being a steward of our environment.”

Each of Sequoyah’s two reactors is capable of producing more than 1160MW. Together, they can generate enough electricity to supply about 1.3 million homes.

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