NRC sets Feb. 3 meetings to receive comments on Byron license

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold two public meetings Feb. 3 to outline the potential environmental impacts of extending the operating licenses for Units 1 and 2 of the Exelon (NYSE:EXC) Byron station in Illinois.

The draft environmental impact statement contains the NRC staff’s preliminary conclusion that the impacts would not preclude renewing the plant’s licenses for an additional 20 years.

NRC staff will hold two public meetings in Byron on Feb. 3 to present the draft environmental study’s findings and hear comments from the public. The meetings will be held in Byron, Ill., at the Byron Forest Preserve District building, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

The Byron plant has two pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Unit 1 is currently licensed to operate through Oct. 31, 2024, and Unit 2 through Nov. 6, 2026. The two units together have an operating capacity of roughly 2,300 MW.

The operator, Exelon Generation, submitted its renewal application May 29, 2014.

Only last month, Exelon also filed a 20-year license renewal application for its two-unit LaSalle nuclear plant in Illinois.

Exelon is seeking license renewal for the nuclear units at a time when the company has questioned whether current energy markets properly reward carbon-free baseload power. Exelon has also said that Illinois will have a much tougher time complying with the EPA Clean Power Plan to cut carbon dioxide if any of the company’s nuclear units in the state should retire prematurely.

The NRC’s review of the application consists of a technical safety review and an environmental review. The draft supplemental environmental impact statement is Supplement 54 to NUREG-1437, Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants. It is now available on the NRC’s website.

Comments on the generic EIS are due by Feb. 20.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.