DELTA, PA (June 7, 2016) — Exelon announced today that the company is seeking an additional 20-year operating license for Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Exelon President and CEO Chris Crane made the announcement in Harrisburg earlier today during an event in the Capitol Rotunda.
“This application is great news for Peach Bottom workers, our neighbors and the state’s economy,” said Crane. “Pennsylvania will soon be crafting ambitious but attainable carbon reduction goals to meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. Exelon’s nuclear stations -- including Peach Bottom -- can help the state meet those goals and continue powering the economy for decades to come.”
Operating Peach Bottom for an additional 20 years will preserve thousands of good-paying jobs and provide long-term support for Pennsylvania’s local and regional economy. Peach Bottom employs more than 800 full-time workers who live in communities surrounding the station and who support local businesses. Annual refueling outages bring more than 2,500 additional workers to the plant, many of whom stay in the area and patronize local businesses.
In the coming weeks, Exelon will notify the NRC of its intent to file the formal application in 2018, with a decision expected by 2020 or 2021. Peach Bottom’s two current operating licenses will expire in 2033 and 2034. If approved, the extended operating license will allow the plant to operate until 2053 and 2054, as long as it continues to meet the NRC’s stringent requirements for safety and operational performance.
U.S. nuclear energy facilities are initially licensed to operate for 40 years and an NRC rule allows licensees to apply for extensions of up to 20 years after the initial 40-year term.
A license alone does not allow a nuclear station to run. It is merely a period of time for which the plant is allowed to operate as long as it complies with NRC safety regulations. If any U.S. nuclear facility fails to run safely at any time during the licensed period, the NRC can shut it down.
The NRC’s license renewal process will take many years and will require a comprehensive review of the plant’s robust design and multiple, redundant safety systems, as well as a public comment period.
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station is located on the west bank of the Conowingo Pond (Susquehanna River) in York County, Pa. The station is home to two boiling water reactors capable of powering more than 2.25 million homes and businesses. Both reactors began commercial operation in 1974. Join us on Twitter