Ex­elon ap­plies for Peach Bot­tom li­cense ex­ten­sion

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Ex­elon Gen­er­a­tion an­nounced Tues­day that it is ap­ply­ing for an ad­di­tional 20-year op­er­at­ing li­cense for its Peach Bot­tom Atomic Power Sta­tion.

The cur­rent li­censes ex­pire in 2033 and 2034, ac­cord­ing to Mar­shall Mur­phy, Ex­elon spokesman.

DELTA, PA.

“We be­lieve the for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion will be sub­mit­ted in 2018,” he added Tues­day, not­ing the ex­pec­ta­tion is that ap­proval could be re­ceived in 2020 or 2021. “It re­quires a great deal of in­for­ma­tion.”

Mur­phy called it “an ex­ten­sive process.”

The Conowingo Dam — also owned by Ex­elon Gen­er­a­tion — has been op­er­at­ing with­out a li­cense since March. Its ini­tial li­cense ex­pired in Septem­ber 2014, but the Fed­eral En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion is­sued a tem­po­rary li­cense.

“This has noth­ing to do with Conowingo,” Mur­phy said.

The util­ity gi­ant will seek two li­censes for 20 years, one for each of its Delta op­er­a­tions. If ap­proved, those li­censes would then ex­pire in 2053 and 2054, re­spec­tively.

Ac­cord­ing to Ex­elon, the Nu­clear Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion is­sued 40-year li­censes when Peach Bot­tom opened in 1974. NRC rules al­low for the li­cense hold­ers to ap­ply for a 20-year ex­ten­sion of that orig­i­nal li­cense.

In a pre­pared state­ment, Ex­elon of­fi­cials ac­knowl­edged the long road ahead, say­ing, “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.”

Ex­elon Pres­i­dent and CEO Chris Crane called the ap­pli­ca­tion for the ex­ten­sion “great news for Peach Bot­tom work­ers, our neigh­bors and the state’s econ­omy.”

Crane said Penn­syl­va­nia’s goal in meet­ing re­quire­ments of the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s Clean Power Plan would be helped through the li­cense ex­ten­sion.

“Ex­elon’s nu­clear sta­tions — in­clud­ing Peach Bot­tom — help the state meet those goals and con­tinue pow­er­ing the econ­omy for decades to come,” he said.

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