The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has renewed the operating license for the Hope Creek Generation Station, located in Hancocks Bridge (Salem County), N.J., for an additional 20 years. The new license will expire on April 11, 2046.
The decision to renew the license comes after thorough safety and environmental reviews of the application submitted by the plant’s operator, PSEG Nuclear LLC., on Aug. 18, 2009. Hope Creek Generation Station is a boiling-water reactor.
The lessons being learned from events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have prompted a comprehensive NRC review of agency regulations and practices. The NRC will apply the recommendations from this review, as appropriate, for any changes deemed necessary to improve the safety of operating plants, regardless of whether the plants have been issued renewed operating licenses. Hope Creek, therefore, like all operating plants, will be subject to any rule or policy changes the NRC may make as a result of our post-Fukushima review. The task force reviewed the lessons learned from the events in Japan and delivered its near-term report and recommendations to the Commission on July 12; a longer-term review’s report is expected to take approximately six months.
The NRC held public meetings near the plant on Nov. 5, 2009, and Nov. 17, 2010, to discuss Hope Creek’s environmental review. In March, the NRC staff concluded there were no environmental impacts that would preclude renewal of the license for environmental reasons.
After careful review of the plant’s safety systems and specifications, the staff concluded that there were no safety concerns that would preclude license renewal and that the applicant had effectively demonstrated the capability to manage the effects of plant aging. In addition, NRC conducted inspections of the plant to verify information submitted by the applicant. On June 16, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards – an independent body of technical experts that advise the Commission – issued its recommendation that license renewal for Hope Creek should be approved.