Delta, Pa. (Mar. 6, 2020) — Today, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted a 20-year license extension for Exelon Generation’s Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station Units 2 and 3. This extension authorizes the plant’s two reactors to continue generating carbon-free electricity for more than 2.7 million homes and businesses through 2054.
“We are pleased with the NRC’s decision to grant a subsequent license renewal for Peach Bottom Units 2 and 3,” said Bryan Hanson, Exelon Nuclear chief nuclear officer. “This plant is well suited to continue running safely, reliably and efficiently, given the extensive upgrades accomplished over the past seven years.”
Exelon Generation recently made significant investments in new equipment and technologies to increase Peach Bottom’s generation capacity by approximately 12 percent. Many of Peach Bottom’s major components, including the station’s high and low-pressure turbines, steam dryers, main generators and main power transformers have been replaced or upgraded.
“The ability to operate Peach Bottom for another 20 years is good news for the environment, our employees and the community,” Hanson added. “However, nuclear plants must remain financially viable to continue to operate. It’s critical that we continue to pursue policy reforms that value the environmental, economic and reliability benefits that zero-carbon nuclear energy provides.”
If Peach Bottom continues to run through 2054, it is estimated that its clean energy production would avoid more than 536 million tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere. That amount of carbon avoidance is equivalent to removing 3.3 million cars from the roadway every year for 34 years.
In addition to environmental benefits, the facility supports the local economy. The Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station employs 750 people full-time with a payroll totaling $84.6 million annually. In addition to full-time staff, the plant employs an average of 1,800 additional contractors and union craftspeople annually during refueling outages to help complete maintenance activities that cannot be performed when the plant is online. Those contractors patronize local merchants, spending money at hotels, restaurants and stores.
“Peach Bottom’s refueling outages deliver a major economic boost for our business. Travelers stay in our motel and eat at both of our restaurants. The extra business really helps and has a big impact on our local economy,” said Peach Bottom Inn Owner & General Manager Roula Skouras.
“I was raised on wages earned at Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants, so I know first-hand the value of the family-supporting jobs these plants provide,” said Joe Gusler, president, Central PA Building & Construction Trades. “Plants like Peach Bottom support not only the full-time employees who work there, but the thousands of temporary trades jobs during refueling outages that are so critical for the building trades in Pennsylvania. We’d like to see Peach Bottom continue operation for many years ahead.”
“This license renewal is extremely important for our employees and the local community,” said Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station Site Vice President Pat Navin. “The opportunity for long-term employment helps build a more stable community. Our employees also give of their time, talent and funds to charitable organizations surrounding the plant, which benefits everyone.”
In 2019, station employees donated $678,886 and volunteered more than 2,500 hours to help organizations and charities in the communities surrounding the plant including workforce development programs, STEM education events, environmental causes, food pantries and veterans’ organizations, among many others.
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station is located on the west bank of the Conowingo Pond (Susquehanna River) in York County, Pa. The station is home to two nuclear reactors that provide enough carbon-free energy to power more than 2.7 million homes and businesses. Both reactors began commercial operation in 1974.