Palo Verde nuclear station issued final safety evaluation report for license renewal from NRC

Source: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued its final safety evaluation report (SER) for the proposed renewal of the operating licenses for the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station’s Units 1, 2 and 3 in Maricopa County, Ariz., and concluded that there are no open safety 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 the 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 the aging in appropriate systems, structures and components of the plant and 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 NRC staff’s safety review. The staff has also completed the environmental review of Palo Verde’s license renewal application.

The SER and the license renewal application have been provided to the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), an independent body of experts that advises the Commission on reactor safety matters. The ACRS will discuss the SER during its February meeting, details of which will be posted on the NRC website. The ACRS will later issue a letter to the Commission discussing the results of its review.

Arizona Public Service Company (APS) submitted an application to the NRC dated December 2008 to extend the Palo Verde Generating Station licenses by 20 years for each unit. The current operating licenses for Palo Verde’s Units 1, 2 and 3 expire on June 1, 2025; April 24, 2026; and Nov. 25, 2027 respectively.

In a letter dated Jan. 11, Brian Holian, director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation’s Division of License Renewal, provided APS with the SER.

Document related to the final SER will be available for public inspection at the following locations:
Litchfield Park Branch Library, 101 West Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park,Ariz.; and Sam Garcia Western Avenue Library, 495 East Western Ave., Avondale, Ariz.

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