NRC seeks comment on enviro review for Braidwood license renewals

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will announce in the March 25 Federal Register that it is issuing for public comment a draft plant-specific Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) covering license renewals for Braidwood Station Units 1 and 2 for an additional 20 years of operation.

Exelon Generation Co. LLC’s Braidwood Station Units 1 and 2 are located in Will County, Illinois. Possible alternatives to the proposed action include no action and reasonable alternative energy sources. The NRC staff plans to hold two public meetings during the public comment period to present an overview of the draft plant-specific supplement to the GEIS and to accept public comments on the document.

Comments need to be submitted by May 12. The two public meetings will be held at the Godley Park District on Godley, Illinois, on April 21.

These existing licenses (NPF-72 and NPF-77) expire in October 2026 and December 2027, respectively. The NRC’s proposed federal action is the decision whether to issue the renewed licenses for an additional 20 years.

Braidwood is a two-unit, nuclear-powered steam-electric generating facility. The nuclear reactor for each unit is a pressurized water reactor (PWR), producing a reactor core rated thermal power of 3,645 megawatts thermal.

As a result of its refurbishment evaluation related to the license renewals, Exelon did not identify the need to undertake any major refurbishment or replacement activities to support the continued operation of Braidwood beyond the end of the existing operating licenses. However, Exelon identified two hypothetical refurbishment activities that may occur during the period of continued operation:

  • steam generator replacement for Unit 2; and
  • reactor pressure vessel head replacement for both units or either unit.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.