Nuclear power plant construction permit extended

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has extended the construction permit for Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA, NYSE: TVC) unfinished Unit 1 reactor at the Bellefonte site in Alabama.

TVA submitted a permit extension request Oct. 8, 2010, and supplemented the request on April 25 and Sept. 1. The permit, which would have expired on Oct. 1, is now valid until Oct. 1, 2020.

After withdrawing both Bellefonte permits in 2006, TVA determined in August 2008 that completing the Bellefonte reactors could be viable and requested that the NRC reinstate the permits. The NRC reinstated the permits in March 2009, returning the plant to “terminated” status under the Commission Policy Statement on Deferred Plants. In January 2010 the NRC placed the plant in “deferred” status. TVA must re-establish control over the plant’s physical condition and records regarding the quality of Units 1 and 2 before the NRC will authorize a return to active construction.

The agency granted construction permits for Bellefonte’s two pressurized-water reactors in 1974. By 1988, when TVA deferred completion of the plant, Unit 1 was approximately 88 percent complete, and Unit 2 was approximately 58 percent complete. When TVA submits its request to return to active construction it must provide the current state of construction and work remaining.

Bellefonte Unit 2’s construction permit expires Oct. 1, 2014.

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