The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said this week that the agency would allow Units 1 and 2 at the LaSalle County Station nuclear power plant an additional 20 years of operating life, extending their licenses to April 17, 2042 and Dec. 16, 2043, respectively.
The LaSalle plant has two boiling water reactors, located in Marseilles, Ill, about 11 miles southeast of Ottawa. The operator, Exelon Generation Company, submitted the application for license extensions on Dec. 9, 2014.
The renewal application involves two tracks of approval. An environmental impact report was issued in late August. The safety evaluation report was issued prior to that, in early June.
There are now 85 nuclear power plants in the United States operating with license extensions that allow for operation for 20 years beyond their original 40-year licenses. Of those 85, two plants have permanently shut down. However, there are applications in motion for 10 other power plants, including Indian Point Units 2 and 3 (with the application received in April 2007), Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2 (application received November 2009), Seabrook Unit 1 (June 2010), South Texas Project Units 1 and 2 (October 2010), Grand Gulf Unit 1 (November 2011), Fermi Unit 2 (April 2014) and Waterford Unit 3 (March 2016).
Diablo Canyon operator Pacific Gas & Electric, however, has struck a tentative deal with environmental and labor union groups that would put that power plant on a track for closure at the end of its original 40-year licenses, which terminates those reactors in November 2024 and August 2025, respectively. The agreement includes withdrawing the company's license extension renewal application for the plant.
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