Skip to main content

Indian Point 3’s Operating License is Alive and Well

Tom Kauffman
The following is a guest blog post by Tom Kauffman, NEI's Director of Media Relations.

As in September 2013 when Indian Point 2 entered its NRC-approved period of extended operation (PEO), Indian Point 3 will start its PEO beginning mid-December. And as they did in September 2103, nuclear opponents are claiming Indian Point 3’s operating license will expire − that claim is false.

Entergy Corp. filed timely and comprehensive license renewal applications for both Indian Point Units 2 and 3 in April 2007, more than five years ahead of IP2’s original expiration date of Sept. 28, 2013, and more than seven years ahead of IP3’s original expiration date of Dec. 12, 2015. The early applications fully satisfied the requirements of the Timely Renewal Doctrine, a well-established federal law that extends the current operating license until the license renewal process is complete.

The Timely Renewal Doctrine is law under the federal Administrative Procedures Act that is generally applicable to regulatory and administrative federal agencies including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and is available to all nuclear energy facilities that apply for a 20-year license renewal at least five years before the expiration of their current license. Indian Point 2 was the first nuclear energy facility to operate with a license extended by Timely Renewal Doctrine because of the unprecedented number of challenges to its license renewal application that must be addressed by the NRC.

Indian Point 3 will enter the period of timely renewal on December 12, 2015 and has met all of the federal requirements under the Timely Renewal Doctrine. The continued operation of Indian Point 3 under the Timely Renewal Doctrine in no way reduces the level of safety of the facility. Indian Point 3 currently meets all federal regulatory requirements, will continue to be thoroughly inspected, and must continue to adhere to all regulatory requirements.

Indian Point
Both operating units at Indian Point are very safe and reliable. Here’s proof. The U.S. nuclear fleet’s average capacity factor (a common measure of reliability) is about 91 percent, which is far higher than all other power supplies (wind 34%, solar 28%, natural gas 48%). The average capacity factors for Indian Point 2 and 3 over the past three years are 93.6% and 96.2% respectively. The fact is, the two plants are among the most reliable power plants in the nation. And it’s no surprise as Indian Point’s owner, Entergy Corp., has invested more than $1 billion to upgrade and enhance both facilities.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…