POTTSTOWN, Pa. - Exelon Nuclear submitted a license renewal application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to renew Limerick Generating Station's operating licenses for unit 1 and unit 2 an additional 20 years.
Limerick, like all U.S. nuclear energy plants, was originally licensed to operate for 40 years. This 40-year license term reflects the amortization period generally used by electric utility companies for large capital investments and is not based on the expected life of the plant.
Limerick Unit 1 is currently licensed to operate through 2024, while unit 2 is licensed to operate through 2029. With approval from the NRC, Limerick units 1 and 2 will continue to safely provide clean, reliable, base-load power through 2044 and 2049 respectively.
"Limerick Generating Station has been an important part of our community for more than 25 years," said Limerick Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Tom Neafcy. "Exelon has always operated the plant with the safety of the public as their top priority and have shown that they are a good neighbor through their many charitable donations. I look forward to having Limerick Generating Station continue to be a partner in our community for the next 40 years."
"This is a significant milestone for our station, employees and area residents," said Bill Maguire, Limerick Generating Station Site Vice President. "Limerick employees are dedicated to operating Limerick safely and take pride in providing clean energy to our region and are looking forward to doing so for many years to come."
To apply for license renewal, Exelon employees dedicated approximately two years to preparing the 2,000-page application. The application contains general, technical and environmental information about Limerick Generating Station. The company's license renewal team evaluated hundreds of systems and structures, more than 150,000 components and approximately 45 aging management programs for inclusion in Limerick's license renewal application to verify to the NRC that Limerick will have the appropriate aging management programs in place.
Exelon also conducted an environmental assessment and prepared an environmental report that was submitted with the license renewal application.
The NRC will spend 22 to 30 months reviewing the application and will conduct audits and inspections of Limerick's aging management programs for its plant systems. The NRC will also verify Limerick's environmental processes and the information presented by Exelon in the environmental report. The public will have opportunities to participate in this process and the NRC will inform the public of these opportunities.
"This is an important first step to having Limerick Generating Station continue to play a valuable role in providing safe, clean electricity to the residents of Pennsylvania," said State Rep. Tom Quigley. "For the past 25 years, Limerick Generating Station has been an economic engine for the state and a partner in the community. It was evident at the recent Community Information Night, that the management and staff of the Limerick Generating Station are interested in providing information and answering the questions and concerns of the community."
Limerick Generating Station is a reliable energy source and safely produces enough low-cost, carbon-free electricity to power over two million homes. Each year it operates, Limerick avoids more than 13.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions that would be generated from a replacement coal-fired plant.
Exelon Nuclear continues to invest in Limerick Generating Station to ensure its safe and reliable operation. Over the past five years, Exelon has spent millions of dollars on capital projects to improve and modernize equipment to enhance plant operations and safety at Limerick.
Exelon has invested over $94 million to replace the plant's six main power transformers to ensure continued reliability. This project will be completed by 2016.
Limerick also plays a positive role in the local community. Limerick's direct economic contributions to the Pennsylvania economy through employee compensation and wages, purchases of goods and services from other Pennsylvania businesses, and property tax payments totals over $113 million annually. Limerick's direct economic impact supports an additional 600 jobs and another $115 million in economic output.
Limerick employees are active supporters of the local community and in 2010, employees raised over $133,000 for the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Limerick Generating Station provides over $500,000 each year to community organizations that work to improve the quality of life of those in our community.
Additional information about Limerick Generating Station can be found at http://www.exeloncorp.com/limerick.