Regulators to consider Exelon request to raise nuclear plant output

March 12 Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:57am EDT

March 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has accepted an application from power company Exelon Corp to increase the output of its Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania by 12.4 percent.

The two reactors at Peach Bottom currently have a capacity of 1,122 megawatts (MW).

The NRC said the standard review time for a so-called extended power uprate (EPU) application is 18 months after the agency formally accepts the application.

Exelon submitted the application to the NRC in September 2012. The NRC staff initially determined the application was insufficient in certain respects and asked Exelon for additional information. The company has now provided that information, the NRC said in a statement on Monday.

Over the past few years, Exelon, the biggest U.S. nuclear power operator, has sought to increase the output of several reactors by a much smaller 1.6 percent, including Braidwood, Byron and LaSalle in Illinois and Limerick in Pennsylvania, according to the NRC website.

The NRC in 2012 put its review of the Byron and Braidwood uprate applications on hold until Exelon provides more information.

Also in 2012, Exelon deferred an uprate at LaSalle for two years as weak natural gas prices - the result of record shale gas production - cut power prices to at least decade lows in several U.S. markets.

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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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