NRC seeks public comment on draft guidance for subsequent renewal of nuclear power plant operating licenses

Source: NRC

U.S. commercial nuclear power reactors are initially licensed for 40 years of operation, and the licenses can be renewed for periods of 20 years.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeks public comment on two draft documents designed to guide the agency’s staff in reviewing applications to extend operations of commercial nuclear power plants beyond 60 years.

The NRC expects to receive the first application for “subsequent license renewal,” or SLR, sometime in 2019. The draft guidance documents, once finalized, will describe methods and techniques acceptable to the NRC staff in reviewing subsequent license renewal applications. Industry will be able to use the documents when preparing their applications. The new documents, Generic Aging Lessons Learned for Subsequent License Renewal (GALL-SLR) Report and Standard Review Plan for Review of Subsequent License Renewal Applications for Nuclear Power Plants (SRP-SLR), are based on similar documents covering initial license renewals. They will describe aging management programs acceptable to the NRC for operations up to 80 years.

The NRC staff will hold public meetings at NRC headquarters in Rockville, Md., on Jan. 21, Jan. 22 and Feb. 23, 2016, to present the guidance, answer questions and receive comments. Written comments may be submitted over the federal government’s rulemaking website, www.regulations.gov, using Docket ID NRC-2015-0251. The comment period will open upon publication of a Federal Register notice, expected Dec. 22. Comments will be accepted through Feb. 29, 2016.

U.S. commercial nuclear power reactors are initially licensed for 40 years of operation, and the licenses can be renewed for periods of 20 years. To date, the NRC has renewed the licenses of 81 reactors to operate for up to 60 years (two of those reactors have since permanently shut down). Information about reactor license renewal is available on the NRC’s website.

The draft GALL-SLR Report (NUREG-2191) and draft SRP-SLR (NUREG-2192) are available on the NRC’s license renewal guidance webpage.

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