(Adds details from release)
June 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said on Thursday it renewed the operating license for the 3,531-megawatt Salem units 1 and 2 at the Hope Creek-Salem nuclear power plant in New Jersey, for an additional 20 years, to 2036 and 2040, respectively.
The license renewal comes after safety and environmental reviews of the application submitted by the plant’s operator, PSEG Nuclear, LLC in Aug 2009, the NRC said.
The NRC is also expected to announce a decision regarding the license renewal of PSEG Nuclear’s Hope Creek generating station within the next few weeks.
The operator said NRC’s decision on the early site permit for its additional nuclear plant in Salem county was not expected until late 2013.
The Salem licenses represent the 69th and 70th reactor licenses renewed by the NRC.
The NRC renewed two licenses this week, including that of Xcel Energy Inc’s (XEL.N) 1096-megawatt Units 1 and 2 at the Prairie nuclear power station in Minnesota. [ID:nL3E7HS2MA]
The NRC uses the renewal process to determine how an operator will manage the aging of a reactor. It is a two-step process that includes safety and environmental reviews. ----------------------------------------------------------- PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE PROVINCE: New Jersey COUNTY: Salem TOWN: Salem along the Delaware River about 40 miles
(60 km) south of Philadelphia OPERATOR: PSEG’s PSEG Nuclear OWNER(S): - Salem 1 & 2 - PSEG (57.41 pct)
- Exelon (EXC.N) (42.59 pct)
- Hope Creek - PSEG (100 pct) CAPACITY: 3,531 MW UNIT(S): - Hope Creek - 1,161-MW General Electric boiling
- Salem 1 - 1,174-MW Combustion Engineering
pressurized water reactor
- Salem 2 - 1,158-MW Combustion Engineering
pressurized water reactor
- 38 MW Salem 3 - gas turbine FUEL: Nuclear; Kerosene (Unit 3) DISPATCH: Baseload COST: Salem 1 and 2 - $1.3 billion
Hope Creek - $4.3 billion. Hope Creek was
originally designed for two reactors but as
costs rose the utility and state decided not to
pursue the second unit. The state also believed
there was not enough demand to warrant the
second unit TIMELINE: 1968 - Salem construction started 1971 - Salem 3 gas turbine enters service 1974 - Hope Creek construction started. 1977 - Salem 1 enters commercial service 1981 - Salem 2 enters commercial service 1986 - Hope Creek enters commercial service 2007 - PSEG says to spend about $50 million from
2007-2011 to explore a possible new reactor at
Hope Creek 2009 - PSEG files with NRC to renew the original
40-year operating licenses at Salem and Hope
Creek for an additional 20 years 2010 - PSEG files with NRC for an Early Site Permit
(ESP) for a new reactor at Hope Creek 2011 - NRC renews licenses of units 1 and 2 for
additional 20 years 2012 - NRC expects to decide on the Hope Creek Early
Site Permit 2013 - NRC expects to decide on the Salem Early Site
Permit 2026 - Hope Creek license to expire 2036 - Salem 1 license to expire 2040 - Salem 2 license to expire (Reporting by Naveen Arul in Bangalore)