NRC issues final safety evaluation for Cooper Nuclear Station license renewal

Source: U.S. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued its final safety evaluation report (SER) for the proposed renewal of the operating license for the Cooper Nuclear Station in Nemaha County, Neb., and concluded that there are no open items that would preclude license renewal for an additional 20 years of operation.

The report documents the results of the NRC staff’s review of the license renewal application and site audits of the plant’s aging management programs to address the safety of plant operations during the period of extended operation. Overall, the results show that the applicant has identified actions that have been or will be taken to manage the effects of aging in the appropriate safety systems, structures and components of the plant and that their functions will be maintained during the period of extended operation.

Issuing the final SER is a significant milestone in the license renewal review process. This process proceeds along two tracks – one for review of safety issues and another for environmental issues. The SER marks the completion of the NRC staff’s safety review that is published and subsequently reviewed and publicly discussed by the agency’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). The staff issued its final Environmental Impact Statement in July 2010.

The SER and the license renewal application have been provided to the ACRS, an independent body of experts that advises the Commission on reactor safety matters. The ACRS will discuss the SER during its October meeting, details of which will be posted on the NRC Web site. The ACRS will later issue a letter discussing the results of its review. Nebraska Public Power District submitted an application to the NRC in Sept. 2008 to extend the Cooper license by 20 years. The plant, operated by Nebraska Public Power District, is located in Nemaha County, Neb. The current 40-year operating license for Cooper Nuclear Station expires Jan. 18, 2014.

In a letter dated September 1, 2010, Melanie Galloway, Deputy Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation’s Division of License Renewal, provided Nebraska Public Power District with the SER. The SER will be available on the NRC’s website.

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