NRC releases final environmental report on Braidwood plant's renewal bid

Courtesy of Exelon Corp.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued its final environmental report on Wednesday concerning license renewals for the Braidwood Nuclear Power Plant in Braceville, Illinois.

The Braidwood facility currently has two nuclear reactors that are authorized to operate through Oct. 17, 2026, and Dec. 18, 2027. The NRC said the environmental review does not preclude the awarding of an extended operations license.

The final environmental report takes into consideration public commentary that was received on the draft version of the report in March of this year.

This license would extend the legal authorized operation time frame by 20 years. The facility’s owner and operator, Exelon Corp., issued its application in May 2013.

In July 2015, the NRC said both the Braidwood and Byron nuclear power plants did not have technical issues that would preclude their license renewals. The NRC reviews both environmental and technical safety aspects in the renewal process of operating licenses for nuclear reactors.

The NRC website said initial 40-year licenses did not reflect the limitations of nuclear technology, but are based on antitrust and economic considerations. This allows the agency to renew plants for 20 years following the initial license period. The NRC also said the renewal process likely will play a role in ensuring a viable energy supply until 2050.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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