NRC Pushes Licensing Decision for Lee Nuclear Plant to 2016

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NRC Pushes Licensing Decision for Lee Nuclear Plant to 2016

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A licensing decision for the proposed William States Lee III nuclear plant has been pushed back to at least 2016.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission notified Duke Energy that a mandatory hearing for the plant's combined license — one of the final steps before a decision — is now scheduled for 2016. It was initially scheduled for March of this year.

Lee nuclear plant illustration. Source: Duke EnergyThe NRC issued a revised timeline for the COL in correspondence with Duke dated July 22. It read, “The staff’s revised schedule reflects the availability of NRC resources and recently imposed budgetary constraints resulting in substantial impacts on licensing activities associated with combined licensing reviews.”

The NRC also said the delay was caused by a decision to move the nuclear islands for the two proposed Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, as well as additional seismic analysis requirements following the Fukushima Daiichi accidents in Japan.

Duke has not made a final decision on whether to build the plant it proposed southwest of Charlotte, N.C., in 2006. A Duke spokesman told the Charlotte Observer this week that the company does not expect the licensing delay will change the current mid-2020s target for completing the reactors.

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  • Here in lies the problem with clean energy in this country, nuclear is the only viable response to carbon emissions and it is hopelessly bogged down by bureaucrtic tangle. Keep in mind that petitioning entity is responsible for reimbersement to NRC for their hours spent processing the license application, so this should not be a federal budget issue.

  • The staff’s revised schedule reflects the availability of NRC resources and recently imposed budgetary constraints resulting in substantial impacts on licensing activities associated with combined licensing reviews.” Translated: the current dictators don't like or want nuclear they are busy giving trillions to those who refuse to work for a living, best regards NRC.

  • The NRC board is basically composed of loads who are appointed, far from being able to work a genuine job; just like congress.

  • All we need to do is look at the truth.  Nuclear is the only way to insure clean air.  The reality is wind and solar will never meet demand and they both need natural gas back up.  Look at France they have clean air and cheap power.  Atomic Power!

  • Unfortunately, we're all preaching to the same choir - our own.  We know the scientific facts, but coal and natural gas win elections.

  • Licensing fees go to the federal treasury, not the NRC.  NRC may only spend what is appropriated by our wonderful Congress.

  • To be clear on this, the applicants who seek to obtain a permit, license or authorization from the NRC, do pay fees for the work of the NRC.  However, such fees are paid to the U.S. Treasury and not to the NRC.  The Congress appropriates the funds for the NRC to do its work and the Congress requires that the NRC recover most of the appropriated funds through fees.  Consequently, NRC must establish a fee schedule in its regulations (see, 10 CFR Parts 170 and 171).  If Congress does not appropriate sufficient resources for the NRC to perform all of the work, then NRC must prioritize the work.  Sequestration and Continuing Resolutions complicate planning for all agencies, including the NRC. It is one of so very many Federal Budget issues.

    I'm not an NRC employee, but I know how the system works.