NRC offers hearings on Byron and Braidwood renewal applications

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is announcing the opportunity to request an adjudicatory hearing on an application to renew the operating licenses of the Byron and Braidwood nuclear power plants in Illinois.

Exelon Generation Co. filed the application, dated May 29, seeking to renew the operating licenses for an additional 20 years of operation. The Braidwood Nuclear Station, located 20 miles southwest of Joliet, and the Byron Nuclear Station, located 17 miles southwest of Rockford, each have two pressurized-water reactors. The current operating licenses for Braidwood expire on Oct. 17, 2026, for Unit 1 and Dec. 18, 2027, for Unit 2. The licenses for Byron expire Oct. 31, 2024, for Unit 1 and Nov. 6, 2026, for Unit 2.

Exelon, in submitting a single application to cover both plants, cited extensive similarities in the systems, structures and components of each that are analyzed in a license renewal review. The NRC staff has determined the application is sufficiently complete to allow the staff to formally docket the application, and begin its detailed technical and environmental reviews. Docketing the application does not preclude requesting additional information as the review proceeds; nor does it indicate whether the Commission will grant the application.

Requests for a hearing must be filed by Sept. 23, following publication of a notice in the Federal Register.