NRC seeks public input on proposed plant-license renewal changes

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said late last week that it is seeking public input on draft-guidance documents on possible changes to renewal standards for nuclear plant operating licenses.

The NRC said new nuclear reactors in the U.S. are licensed for an initial 40-year period, after which time, plants may be granted a 20-year extension. The guidance documents suggest extending operational licenses beyond 60 years.

The NRC expects the first set of renewal requests to come in 2019. The purpose of the documents would be to establish appropriate practices and guidance for NRC staff to review license extensions beyond a combined 60 years. Management programs for aging facilities are detailed in these draft documents for operations that would be allowed up until 80 years after a plant’s initial licensing year.
 
The comment period begins this week and runs through Friday, Feb. 29. Comments may be submitted electronically to Regulations.gov.

The NRC also will hold public informational meetings at its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, Jan. 21 and 22 and Feb. 23.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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