Thursday, March 19, 2009
NRC issues safety evaluation for TMI renewal application
NRC ISSUES SAFETY EVALUATION REPORT FOR THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR PLANT LICENSE RENEWAL APPLICATION The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has issued its safety evaluation report (SER) with Open Items for the proposed renewal of the operating license for the Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 (TMI-1), located in Middletown, Pa. The report documents the interim results of the NRC staff’s review of the license renewal application and site audits of TMI-1’s aging management programs to address the safety of plant operations during the period of extended operations. Overall, the results show that the applicant has identified actions that have been or will be taken to manage the effects of aging in the appropriate safety systems, structures and components of the plant and that their functions will be maintained during the period of extended operation. Exelon Generation Group, LLC, owner and operator (formerly AmerGen Energy Company, LLC.), submitted an application to the NRC on Jan. 8, 2008 to extend the TMI-1 license by 20 years. Under NRC regulations, the original operating license for a nuclear power plant has a term of 40 years. The license may be renewed for up to an additional 20 years if NRC requirements are met. Therefore, if approved, the current operating license for TMI-1, which expires on April 19, 2014, would be extended until 2034. In a letter dated March 13, Brian Holian, director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation’s Division of License Renewal, provided Exelon with the SER. The SER will be available on the NRC’s Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal/applications.html. Issuance of a SER is a typical milestone in a license renewal review. The NRC staff will present its final conclusions on the license renewal application in an update to this SER which is estimated to be issued in July 2009. The SER and the license renewal application have also been provided to the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), an independent body of experts that advises the NRC on reactor safety matters. An ACRS subcommittee is expected to discuss the SER during a meeting on April 1. The meeting, which will take place at NRC Headquarters in Rockville, Md., will be open to the public. Details of this meeting will be announced on the agency’s Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/index.cfm. The full ACRS will later issue a report discussing the results of its review. A copy of the letter and the Safety Evaluation Report will be available in the NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management Systems (ADAMS) under accession number ML090710604. ADAMS is accessible via the agency’s Web site at: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Help in using ADAMS is available by contacting the NRC’s Public Document Room at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail at PDR.Resource@NRC.GOV. Documents related to TMI-1 are also located at the following locations: the Middletown Public Library, 20 North Catherine Street in Middletown; the Penn State Harrisburg Library, 351 Olmsted Drive in Middletown; and the Londonderry Township Municipal Building, 783 South Geyers Church Road in Middletown. Additional information concerning license renewal in general and the TMI-1 application in particular can be found at: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/license-renewal-bg.html and http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal.html respectively.