Sunday, August 1, 2021

07/22/21 Letter to the Honorable Edward Markey

Markey exchange regarding Decommissioning

https://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber=ML21179A076 

Document Title:   07/22/21 Letter to the Honorable Edward Markey from Chairman Hanson responds to letter regarding proposed rule on Regulatory Improvements for Production and Utilization Facilities Transitioning to Decommissioning

Document Type:

Document Date:

Friday, July 30, 2021

NRC Issues Final Environmental Study for Proposed Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility in Andrews, Texas

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 21-029 July 29, 2021
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200

NRC Issues Final Environmental Study for Proposed Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility in Andrews, Texas

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued its final environmental impact statement on an application by Interim Storage Partners, LLC, to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in Andrews County, Texas. After considering the environmental impacts of the proposed action, the NRC staff recommend granting the proposed license.

Interim Storage Partners is a joint venture of Waste Control Specialists, LLC, and Orano CIS, LLC, a subsidiary of Orano USA, LLC. If granted, the license would authorize ISP to construct a facility to store up to 5,000 metric tons of spent commercial nuclear fuel as well as Greater-Than-Class C waste for a period of 40 years. ISP plans to expand the facility to a total capacity of 40,000 metric tons of spent fuel. The facility would be built adjacent to the Waste Control Specialists low-level radioactive waste disposal site.

The NRC published a draft environmental impact statement on the project in May 2020. Agency staff held four public meetings by webinar to present the draft findings and receive public comments. To complete the final document, the staff received and evaluated approximately 2,500 unique comments submitted by nearly 10,600 members of the public.

The NRC will provide the final environmental impact statement to the Environmental Protection Agency for filing. Once the EPA publishes in the Federal Register a notice that it has received the document, the NRC must wait at least 30 days before issuing a licensing decision. When it announces its licensing decision, the NRC will also publish its final safety evaluation report detailing its technical review of the ISP application.

More information about the NRC staff’s review of the Interim Storage Partners application is available on the NRC website.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

NRC Launches Special Inspection at Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: III-21-017 July 27, 2021
Contact: Viktoria Mitlyng, 630-829-9662 Prema Chandrathil, 630-829-9663

NRC Launches Special Inspection at Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has launched a special inspection at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant that will focus on two separate issues: multiple diesel generator failures during testing and maintenance; and a complicated reactor trip on July 8.

The six-person inspection team will review the company’s response to each diesel generator failure, including the company’s cause analysis, extent of condition reviews, maintenance practices and system design. The team will also focus on the circumstances affecting the recent complicated automatic reactor shutdown, which was triggered by a turbine trip, assessing equipment performance and operator response.

In the past 24 months, Davis-Besse experienced four failures of emergency diesel generators to operate in accordance with specifications during NRC-required testing and one failure of a station blackout diesel generator during maintenance. Davis-Besse has two emergency diesel generators, which would provide emergency power during the loss of offsite power, and one station blackout diesel generator, which would provide power in case both emergency diesel generators failed. One diesel generator is sufficient to enable the plant to safely shut down and remain in a stable condition. Normal plant operations were not affected by the diesel failures during testing and maintenance, and public safety was maintained.

While the NRC was planning the special inspection on diesel failures, Davis-Besse experienced an unplanned reactor trip. During the plant’s response to the trip, certain pieces of equipment did not function as designed. Operators took action to address the equipment issues, and the reactor was shut down safely and placed in a stable condition. After making the necessary repairs, the reactor returned to power. Based on the complications of the trip, the agency chose to expand the special inspection to better understand equipment performance issues and operator response.

Upon completion of the special inspection, NRC inspectors will document their findings on both issues in a publicly available inspection report, which will be distributed electronically to listserv subscribers and be available on theNRC website.

The plant, located in Oak Harbor, Ohio, is operated by Energy Harbor Corp.

Peach Bottom LER Safety Relief Valve Inoperable

 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Three Mile Island: Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station - Unit 1 - NRC Independent Spent Fuel Storage Security Inspection Report No. 07200077/2021401

Three Mile Island:  Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station - Unit 1 - NRC Independent Spent Fuel Storage Security Inspection Report No. 07200077/2021401

ML21194A076

Monday, July 19, 2021

TAKE ACTION NOW: Who's Protecting Us? Stop environmental exclusions

Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Dear Diane,

Who's protecting us from the dangers of nuclear energy and radioactive waste?  

NOT the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)!!!

NRC is trying to make over a dozen actions that could endanger people and the environment exempt from environmental and safety reviews. That means NRC could approve projects that affect our health while ignoring the impacts—and preventing communities from even having a say.  


These are just a few of the bad ideas the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is trying to exempt from environmental and safety reviews:
  • Deregulating nuclear wast to make radioactive belt buckles, baby toys, and building supplies
  • Nuclear waste casks that are not designed for real-world storage and transport conditions
  • Uranium mills, nuclear power reactors, and other nuclear sites closed and released without environmental review
  • Review of funds needed for decommissioning nuclear power reactors, irradiated (“spent”) fuel storage, and nuclear fuel facilities
  • Excluding uranium mills, nuclear sites, radioactive wastes, and more from environmental and safety regulations
Take Action Now
NRC is only accepting comments from the public until July 21. 

Thanks for all you do!
The NIRS Team
Diane D’Arrigo
Denise Jakobsberg
Tim Judson
Ann McCann
Hannah Smay 
Donate
Connect with us!

Nuclear Information and Resource Service
6930 Carroll Avenue Suite 340 | Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
3012706477 | nirs@nirs.org | nirs.org

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REPORT: $50 BILLION NUCLEAR BAILOUT WOULD UNDERMINE BIDEN CLIMATE AND INFRASTRUCTURE GOALS

REPORT: $50 BILLION NUCLEAR BAILOUT WOULD UNDERMINE BIDEN
CLIMATE AND INFRASTRUCTURE GOALS

Economic Analysis Shows $10-50 Billion In Proposed Nuclear Subsidies Would Subvert Biden’s Infrastructure Plans; Best Investment for Jobs, Climate and the Economy is in Rapid Transition to Renewable Energy and Smart Electricity Grid, According to Expert

For immediate release_ Cooper Report.docx

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

PA DEP News Release : Environmental Quality Board Adopts Final CO2 Budget Trading Program Rulemaking

DEP Newsroom

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07/13/2021

CONTACT:
Jamar Thrasher, DEP
717-319-1758

 
Environmental Quality Board Adopts Final CO2 Budget Trading Program Rulemaking
Board adopts RGGI regulation by vote of 15 to 4


Harrisburg, PA – Today, members of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board (EQB), voted to adopt the final-form rulemaking of the multistate CO2 budget trading program, also known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional CO2 Budget Trading Program. The vote was 15 to 4.

“This is a milestone in helping Pennsylvanians get one step closer to combating the ills of climate change,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI would establish a program to limit CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric power plants located in Pennsylvania. Emissions of CO2 is a greenhouse gas and is a major contributor to climate change, which is detrimental to public health and welfare in Pennsylvania. Following this EQB meeting, the next step in the regulatory process is review by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).

Pennsylvania has the fifth leading CO2 emitting electricity generation sector in the United States, and RGGI is a significant component in achieving Pennsylvania’s goals to reduce net GHG emissions from 2005 levels by 26% by 2025 and 80% by 2050.

RGGI is a “cap and invest” program that sets a regulatory limit on CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGU) and permits trading of CO2 allowances to effect cost efficient compliance with the regulatory limit. RGGI provides a ''two-prong'' approach to reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired EGUs. The first prong is a declining CO2 emissions budget and the second prong involves investment of the proceeds resulting from the auction of CO2 allowances to further reduce CO2 emissions. Each participating state establishes its own annual CO2 emissions budget which sets the total amount of CO2 emitted from fossil fuel-fired EGUs in a year.

This final-form rulemaking is authorized under the Air Pollution Control Act (APCA), which grants the Board the authority to adopt rules and regulations for the prevention, control, reduction, and abatement of air pollution in Pennsylvania. This final-form rulemaking would effectuate least cost CO2 emission reductions for the years 2022 through 2030.

What is commonly referred to as the ''RGGI cap'' on emissions is a reference to the total of all the state CO2 emissions budgets. This final-form rulemaking includes a declining annual CO2 emissions budget, which starts at 78 million tons in 2022 and ends at 58 million tons in 2030. This is anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions in Pennsylvania by 31% compared to 2019. The declining annual CO2 emissions budget is equivalent to the CO2 allowance budget, which is the number of CO2 allowances available each year.

Spinco: Exelon's Opposition to EDF and TMI-Alert's Petitions

Exelon Answer Opposing EDF Hearing Request.pdf

Exelon Answer Opposing Epstein and TMIA Hearing Request.pdf

TMI-2's Answer to TMIA's Motion on Water Use at Three Mile Island

TMI-2 SOLUTIONS, LLC’S ANSWER OPPOSING THREE MILE ISLAND ALERT’S PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF CLI-21-08

Answer to TMIA Petition for Reconsideration (07.12.21).pdf

Monday, July 12, 2021

[decomm_wkg] FRN Re: Categorical Exclusions from Environmental Review

Dated 4/30/2021 Docketed 5/10/2021
Categorical Exclusions from Environmental Review
N2
Michael J.  Keegan
Don't Waste Michigan

ML21028A663
https://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber=ML21028A663 

Document Title:    Federal Register Notice Re: Categorical Exclusions from Environmental Review
Document Type:    Federal Register NoticeRulemaking- Proposed Rule
Document Date:    04/30/2021

Summary of June 15, 2021, Meeting with Exelon Generation Company, LLC Vessel Nozzle Repair Related To A Planned Request For An Alternative Related To Reactor Pressure (EPID L-2021-LRM-0056)

Subject:  Summary of June 15, 2021, Meeting with Exelon Generation Company, LLC Vessel Nozzle Repair Related To A Planned Request For An Alternative Related To Reactor Pressure (EPID L-2021-LRM-0056)

ADAMS Accession No. ML21176A082

Friday, July 9, 2021

NRC Begins Environmental Justice Review of Agency Programs

 Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release

No: 21-027 July 8, 2021
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200

NRC Begins Environmental Justice Review of Agency Programs

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is conducting a systematic review of how the agency’s programs, policies and activities address environmental justice. As part of the review, agency staff will seek public comment related to how the NRC addresses environmental justice, given its mission of protecting people and the environment.

“We anticipate that these meetings will invite a wide range of useful perspectives, from community groups, non-governmental organizations, labor unions, and nuclear power plant operators,” said NRC Chairman Christopher T. Hanson. “What we learn will help enhance the staff’s reviews of license applications and other activities that we regulate.”

The Commission directed the review in a staff requirements memorandum dated April 23, giving the staff nine months to conduct the review. An Environmental Justice Review Team has been established within the NRC Office of the Executive Director for Operations and has begun reviewing recent Executive Orders and assessing practices of other federal, state and tribal governments. The team will also review the adequacy of the NRC’s 2004 Policy Statement on the Treatment of Environmental Justice Matters in NRC Regulatory and Licensing Actions. The team will evaluate whether the NRC should incorporate environmental justice beyond implementation through the National Environmental Policy Act, as set out in the policy statement, and consider whether there may be benefits from establishing formal mechanisms to gather external stakeholder input.

The Environmental Justice Review Team will hold two public meetings by webinar July 15 to provide an overview of its review and receive public comment. The webinars will be held from 1:30-3p.m. and 8-9:30p.m., both Eastern Time. Details for accessing the webinars are available in the public meetings notices linked above.

A notice will be published on July 9 in the Federal Register asking specific questions to inform the team’s review and describing other means to provide public comment.

PA DEP News Release : ADVISORY – JULY 13 – HARRISBURG – Environmental Quality Board to Consider Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Final Regulation

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07/8/2021

CONTACT:
Jamar Thrasher, DEP
717-787-1323

 
ADVISORY – JULY 13 – HARRISBURG – Environmental Quality Board to Consider Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Final Regulation


Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board will hold a meeting on Tuesday July 13, 2021 to consider the final form rulemaking for Pennsylvania to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The meeting will be held at 9:00 AM and will be streamed at pacast.com/live/dep. The Rachel Carson State Office Building remains closed to the public.

The final RGGI regulation takes into account the thousands of comments received across 10 virtual public hearings and 60 day comment period. The final version of the regulation, along with supporting documents, can be found at dep.pa.gov/rggi under “Consideration of Final Rulemaking: CO2 Budget Trading Program (25 Pa. Code Chapter 145).”

Benefits of the regulation, if enacted, include:
• Less air pollution – RGGI would eliminate more than 188 million tons of carbon pollution over 10 years
• Improved health by preventing $6.3 billion of health care costs due to cleaner air
• Up to 30,000 new jobs created and an increase in Gross State Product by $2 billion

More information about RGGI and Pennsylvania can be found at dep.pa.gov/rggi

WHAT: Environmental Quality Board Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at 9:00 AM
WHERE: Streaming at pacast.com/live/dep

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

New Mexico Congressional Delegation, Governor Send Letter To Energy Secretary Opposing Nuclear Waste Interim Site

 Sen. Heinrich & Lujan, new Rep. Melanie Stansbury, and Gov. Lujan Grisham to DOE Secretary Granholm:


We are strongly opposed to the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico.

Letter attached.

New post on Los Alamos Reporter
CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION NEWS

U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, and U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm opposing the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico.

“We are strongly opposed to the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico.  There is currently no permanent disposal strategy for SNF and HLW in place at the Department of Energy.  This leaves us extremely concerned that ‘interim’ storage sites with initial 40-year leases, like one proposed for Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing in New Mexico, will become the country’s de facto permanent nuclear waste storage facilities.  We cannot accept that result,” they wrote.

There are currently two pending applications before the NRC for licenses to construct and operate consolidated interim storage facilities (CISFs) - one in Andrews, Texas, and one in Lea County, New Mexico. 

“Without a strategy in place at the Department of Energy for permanent waste disposal, any CISF constructed in or near New Mexico could become a waste storage site that is, in essence, permanent.  New Mexico has not and will not consent to such a situation,” they continued.

The New Mexico lawmakers cautioned that, “We cannot repeat such harms by establishing interim nuclear waste storage sites, especially without a permanent waste disposal strategy.  We would welcome collaborative work to establish a coherent, consent-based federal policy on managing and disposing of SNF and HLW, and look forward to engaging in that work with you.”  

Last month, Senator Heinrich raised his concerns about interim storage directly with Secretary Granholm during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing to review the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The full text of the letter is available here and below:

Dear Secretary Granholm,

We are strongly opposed to the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico.  There is currently no permanent disposal strategy for SNF and HLW in place at the Department of Energy.  This leaves us extremely concerned that “interim” storage sites with initial 40-year leases, like one proposed for Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing in New Mexico, will become the country’s de facto permanent nuclear waste storage facilities.  We cannot accept that result.  

As you have recognized, the consent of those affected is a critical component of any approach to nuclear waste storage.  There are currently two pending applications before the NRC for licenses to construct and operate consolidated interim storage facilities (CISFs) - one in Andrews, Texas, and one in Lea County, New Mexico.  Without a strategy in place at the Department of Energy for permanent waste disposal, any CISF constructed in or near New Mexico could become a waste storage site that is, in essence, permanent.  New Mexico has not and will not consent to such a situation. 

New Mexico is proud to host Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.  The people of New Mexico have long been at the forefront of our national security mission and the discovery of nuclear science and technologies.  Unfortunately, in some cases, this has resulted in situations that have harmed the health and wellbeing of New Mexicans. We cannot repeat such harms by establishing interim nuclear waste storage sites, especially without a permanent waste disposal strategy.  We would welcome collaborative work to establish a coherent, consent-based federal policy on managing and disposing of SNF and HLW, and look forward to engaging in that work with you.  

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

BRAIDWOOD STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; BYRON STATION, UNIT NOS. 1 AND 2; CALVERT CLIFFS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, UNITS 1 AND 2; CLINTON POWER STATION, UNIT NO. 1; DRESDEN NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3; JAMES A. FITZPATRICK NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

Subject:  BRAIDWOOD STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; BYRON STATION, UNIT NOS. 1 AND 2; CALVERT CLIFFS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, UNITS 1 AND 2; CLINTON POWER STATION, UNIT NO. 1; DRESDEN NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3; JAMES A. FITZPATRICK NUCLEAR POWER PLANT; LASALLE COUNTY STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; LIMERICK GENERATING STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; NINE MILE POINT NUCLEAR STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3; QUAD CITIES NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; AND R. E. GINNA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT — PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE TO EXPAND THE USE OF ASME CODE CASES N-878 AND N-880 TO CARBON STEEL PIPING (EPIDS L-2021-LLR-0000, -0002, AND -0003)

ADAMS Accession No: ML21166A168

Three Mile Island: Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station – Unit 1 –Security Decommissioning Inspection Report 05000289/2021401

Subject: Three Mile Island: Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station – Unit 1 –Security Decommissioning Inspection Report 05000289/2021401

ADAMS Accession No: ML21179A252

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Three Mile Island’s Radioactive Discharges Will Not Be Monitored By Federal Agencies; NRC Denies Nuclear Watchdog’s Clean Water Act Complaint , (June 25, 2021)

Contact: Eric Epstein.
717-635-8615.
717-979-8767.

Braidwood, Byron, Calvert Cliffs, Clinton, Dresden, FitzPatrick, LaSalle, Limerick, Nine Mile, Peach Bottom, Quad Cities, and Ginna - Summary of May 18, 2021, Meeting with Exelon Generation Company, LLC Regarding its Requested Alternative to Eliminate

Subject:  Braidwood, Byron, Calvert Cliffs, Clinton, Dresden, FitzPatrick, LaSalle, Limerick, Nine Mile, Peach Bottom, Quad Cities, and Ginna - Summary of May 18, 2021, Meeting with Exelon Generation Company, LLC Regarding its Requested Alternative to Eliminate Certain Documentation Requirements for the Replacement of Pressure Retaining Bolting 

ADAMS Accession No.:  ML21139A185

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

NRC Amends Licensing, Inspection, and Annual Fees for FY 2021

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 21-021 June 4, 2021
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200

NRC Amends Licensing, Inspection, and Annual Fees for FY 2021

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is amending its regulations for the licensing, inspection, special projects, and annual fees it will charge applicants and licensees for FY 2021.

The FY 2021 final fee rule, published today in the Federal Register, includes fees required by the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act to recover, to the maximum extent practicable, approximately 100 percent of the agency’s total budget authority in FY 2021, less the budget authority for certain excluded activities. NEIMA also established a new cap for the annual fees charged to operating reactor licensees and required three sets of actions related to NRC invoices for service fees. A proposed rule was published for public comment on Feb. 22.

The final fee rule reflects a total budget authority of $844.4 million, a decrease of $11.2 million from FY 2020. After accounting for exclusions from the fee-recovery requirement and net billing adjustments, the NRC must recover approximately $708 million in fees in FY 2021. Of this amount, approximately $190.6 million will be recovered under Part 170 fees for service and $517.4 million will be recovered through Part 171 annual fees.

Compared to FY 2020, annual fees are decreasing for fuel facilities, non-power production or utilization facilities, 42 materials users fee categories, uranium recovery activities, and for the U.S. Department of Energy Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Program. Annual fees are increasing for spent fuel storage/reactor decommissioning activities, operating power reactors, DOE transportation activities, and 11 materials users fee categories. While the operating power reactors’ annual fee is increasing in FY 2021, it does not exceed the cap established by NEIMA. Generally, annual fees are impacted by changes to the budget, fees for services, the number of licensees, the results of the biennial review of fees, and other factors.

The FY 2021 final fee rule also includes a change in the hourly rate, affecting licensees and applicants. The NRC has increased the hourly rate from $279 to $288 for FY 2021 and has adjusted license application fees accordingly.

The NRC estimates that the FY 2021 annual fees will be paid by the 93 licensees of operating commercial power reactors, four non-power production or utilization facilities, 122 spent nuclear fuel storage and decommissioning reactor facilities, eight fuel cycle facilities, one uranium recovery facility, and approximately 2,500 nuclear materials licensees.

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 – REGULATORY AUDIT PLAN IN SUPPORT OF LICENSE AMENDMENT REQUEST TO REVISE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS TO ADOPT RISKINFORMED COMPLETION TIMES (EPID L-2021-LLA-0062)

Subject: SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 – REGULATORY AUDIT PLAN IN SUPPORT OF LICENSE AMENDMENT REQUEST TO REVISE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS TO ADOPT RISKINFORMED COMPLETION TIMES (EPID L-2021-LLA-0062)

Petition of Epstein; TMI-Alert for Leave to Intervene; Exelon's Proposed HoldCo & SpinCo License Transfer Application, (June 14, 2021)

Petition of Epstein; TMI-Alert for Leave to Intervene and for A Hearing; Exelon's Proposed HoldCo & SpinCo LTA, (June 14, 2021).pdf

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Bombshell: Exelon's corporate partner seeks to slow down spinoff train, (7/9/21)

Exelon's corporate partner seeks to slow down spinoff train

A French utility conglomerate is proving an impediment to Exelon's desire for quick approval of plans to separate its nukes from its regulated utilities.

STEVE DANIELS  -- Crain’s Chicago -- June 09, 2021 01:02 PM UPDATED 3 HOURS AGONT

Alamy
 
Exelon’s petition to New York state to fast-track review of its proposed spinoff of its nuclear plants and other unregulated businesses has run into opposition from its own corporate partner.

French utility conglomerate EDF, which co-owns three of Exelon’s nukes including two in New York, yesterday filed with state regulators to reject Exelon’s request to approve the separation of its regulated and unregulated businesses without undergoing a normally required full-blown review. EDF said it feared that a nuclear power business without the backing of Exelon’s more financially stable regulated utilities could subject it to unforeseen costs.

 “The proposed spin transaction would result in a transfer of risks to EDF Inc. and to New York’s captive ratepayers,” EDF wrote in its filing before the New York Public Service Commission. “(Exelon’s) petition does not adequately address this transfer of risks. As such, the commission should conduct a full review of the proposed spin transaction.”

Most of the regulatory approvals Exelon needs to separate its two main businesses are at the federal level. New York is the only state of several affected, including Illinois, that also has oversight over this process and whose consent is required. New York’s agreement to curtail review is critical to Exelon’s hoped-for timing of the spinoff, which is late this year or early next.

Details thus far have been scant, however. Exelon in February announced plans to separate the businesses, something investors were clamoring for since regulated utilities are valued far more highly in today’s environment than are power plants subject to market forces. More than three months later, we still don’t know the management and boards of the two companies, how much debt each will carry and other basic information.

EDF wrote that the public interest demands a full-blown review “given that (Exelon) propose(s) an unformed entity of indeterminate financial condition to be the new parent owner of the facilities. The petitioners argue that (Exelon Generation’s) 'financial wherewithal and strength will continue to be strong operating as a direct subsidiary of a new, independent, publicly traded holding company post-transaction,' but they base this almost exclusively on their own projections regarding ExGen’s condition and not that of the yet-to-be-created (spinoff).”

EDF’s motives are complicated, though. It is seeking to exit the partnership in which it holds a 49.99 percent interest in Exelon’s R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point nukes in New York, as well as the Calvert Cliffs nuke in Maryland. The two parties are at odds over the valuation of the three nukes, and the process has been slow since EDF sought to cash out in late 2019.

The partnership gives EDF the right to exit and be paid market value for its stake. But if the two sides can’t agree, under the deal, then the dispute goes to an arbitrator. Neither Exelon nor EDF have been willing thus far to roll the dice with a third party.

EDF can use the threat of delay to put pressure on Exelon to increase what it’s willing to pay the conglomerate to go away.

 “We continue to believe that our petition to separate the New York nuclear plants from Exelon meets the New York Public Service Commission’s standard of being in the public interest and we hope to achieve approval by the end of the year,” Exelon said in an email. “At the same time, we are following a contractual process to acquire EDF’s stake in the plants that is expected to conclude in the second half of 2021. The transaction with EDF is a separate matter and should have no bearing on the Commission’s consideration of our plan to separate the generation business.”

EDF in its filing said there’s no guarantee of an agreement with Exelon this year.

New York has been faced with a similar request before. New Orleans-based Entergy proposed more than a decade ago to spin off its substantial nuclear division, which included plants in New York. The state denied the request, scotching the deal.

Since then, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has won approval of substantial subsidies to keep open several nukes, including three operated by Exelon. Analysts generally have taken the view that a repeat of the Entergy drama isn’t likely with Exelon’s spinoff.

But, as regulators have proved many times before in complex financial dealings involving energy assets, they are a wild card. EDF’s move may demonstrate there’s more risk in New York to Exelon’s plans than investors previously appreciated.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Exelon Fleet and The Associated Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations - Extension of Comment Period for Notice of Consideration of Approval of Transfer of Licenses and Conforming Amendments and Opportunity to Request a Hearing

SUBJECT: BRAIDWOOD STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; BYRON STATION, UNIT NOS. 1

AND 2; CALVERT CLIFFS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, UNITS 1 AND 2; CLINTON POWER STATION, UNIT NO. 1; DRESDEN NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNITS 1, 2, AND 3; JAMES A. FITZPATRICK NUCLEAR POWER PLANT; LASALLE COUNTY STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; LIMERICK GENERATING STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; NINE MILE POINT NUCLEAR STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNITS 1, 2, AND 3; QUAD CITIES NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; R. E. GINNA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT; SALEM NUCLEAR GENERATING STATION, UNIT NOS. 1 AND 2; THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1; ZION NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; AND THE ASSOCIATED INDEPENDENT SPENT FUEL STORAGE INSTALLATIONS – EXTENSION OF COMMENT PERIOD FOR NOTICE OF CONSIDERATION OF APPROVAL OF TRANSFER OF LICENSES AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS AND OPPORTUNITY TO REQUEST A HEARING (EPID L-2021-LLM-0000)

ADAMS Accession No.: ML21145A014
​​​​​​​

2021/05/24 NRR E-mail Capture - Exelon Generation Company, LLC - Request for Additional Information Regarding License Transfer Application (EPID L-2021-LLM-0000)

Subject:  2021/05/24 NRR E-mail Capture - Exelon Generation Company, LLC - Request for Additional Information Regarding License Transfer Application (EPID L-2021-LLM-0000)

ADAMS Accession No.:  ML21144A213'

Friday, May 21, 2021

Peach Bottom - UNUSUAL EVENT DUE TO A FIRE ALARM INSIDE THE DRYWELL

 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Operations Center

EVENT REPORTS FOR
05/17/2021 - 05/18/2021

55261

Power ReactorEvent Number: 55261
Facility: Peach Bottom
Region: 1     State: PA
Unit: [2] [] []
RX Type: [2] GE-4,[3] GE-4
NRC Notified By: Brett Henry
HQ OPS Officer: Brian Lin
Notification Date: 05/17/2021
Notification Time: 13:12 [ET]
Event Date: 05/17/2021
Event Time: 12:38 [EDT]
Last Update Date: 05/17/2021
Emergency Class: Unusual Event
10 CFR Section:
50.72(a) (1) (i) - Emergency Declared
Person (Organization):
GREIVES, JONATHAN (R1)
LEW, DAVE (R1 RA)
MILLER, CHRIS (NRR EO)
GRANT, JEFFERY (IR)
CASTELVETER, DAVID (PAO)

UnitSCRAM CodeRX CritInitial PWRInitial RX ModeCurrent PWRCurrent RX Mode
2NY40Power Operation40Power Operation


Event Text
UNUSUAL EVENT DUE TO A FIRE ALARM INSIDE THE DRYWELL

[Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station declared an unusual event due to a] "receipt of a single fire alarm in the Unit 2 drywell and the existence of the fire not verified in less than 30 minutes of alarm receipt."

The NRC Resident Inspector and State and Local Authorities were notified.

Notified DHS SWO, FEMA Operations Center, CISA Central, FEMA NWC (email), DHS Nuclear SSA (email), and FEMA NRCC SASC (email).

* * * UPDATE ON 5/17/21 AT 1423 EDT FROM BRETT HENRY TO HOWIE CROUCH * * *
At 1355 EDT, the licensee terminated the notification of unusual event. The basis for termination was that the smoke has dissipated and there were no signs of fire.

The licensee notified State and Local Authorities and the NRC Resident Inspector.

Notified R1DO (Grieves), NRR EO (Miller), and IRD MOC (Grant). Notified DHS SWO, FEMA Operations Center, CISA Central, FEMA NWC (email), DHS Nuclear SSA (email), FEMA NRCC THD (email) and FEMA NRCC SASC (email).

Sunday, May 16, 2021

NRC Public Workshop - Technical Basis for Guidance on Conducting and Evaluating Surveys of Residual Radioactivity in the Subsurface Soils of Licensee Sites

NRC Public Workshop - Technical Basis for Guidance on Conducting and Evaluating Surveys of Residual Radioactivity in the Subsurface Soils of Licensee Sites

On July 14-15, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is holding a public workshop on the technical basis for guidance on conducting and evaluating surveys of residual radioactivity in the subsurface soils of licensee sites. The NRC began to address this problem in NUREG/CR 7021, “A Subsurface Decision Model for Supporting Environmental Compliance,” issued January 2012.

Workshop Format:
This will be a virtual-only meeting and attendance will be via Microsoft Teams (links to be provided at a later date). Detailed webinar information and other meeting details will be posted to the public meeting notice website: https://www.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg?do=details&Code=20210553
Workshop Agenda:
The agenda is still being developed. The current plan is to have a mix of pre-recorded presentations and open discussions. Parties interested in presenting should contact the NRC meeting organizers.
 
Workshop Topics:
The purpose of this workshop is to gather information on the subject areas below.  Discussion topics to be covered during this workshop may include:


1. Subsurface radiological surveys ranging from historical site assessments, scoping, characterization, remedial action, confirmatory, and final status surveys.

2. DCGLs for contaminants in the subsurface and use of multiple DCGLs for surface and/or subsurface layers. Evaluating elevated areas or hot spots (DCGLEMC) for potential doses to receptors including the inadvertent intruder.

3. Evaluation of sites with geospatial and statistical methods.

· Statistical methods and geospatial modeling tools and software to analyze contaminant distributions and optimize sampling and scanning of the sub-surface.

· Methods to determine the sample density, spatial distributions, depths, and volume to achieve a level of confidence and limit decision errors.

· Applicability of MARSSIM statistical tests and other alternative methods.
Treatment of uncertainty and data sufficiency.
Applicability of “composite sampling” or surrogate ratios.


4. Applicability of Scenario B for subsurface residual radioactivity and demonstrating indistinguishability from background.

5. Methods to survey large subsurface soil excavations and survey of soils for reuse in large excavations including use of conveyor belts and other methods.

The executive summary to a draft Technical Letter Report by SC&A (see link below) outlines some key issues related to sub-surface characterization and surveys for decommissioning, and in some cases suggests approaches to resolving those concerns. Attendees are strongly encouraged to have read or be familiar with the nomenclature and procedures of the MARSSIM document, as analogous terminology and many of the same concepts may be useful for subsurface surveys as well. This is already reflected in the discussion topics listed above, in NUREG/CR 7021, and the SC&A executive summary.

Key References:
Executive Summary, “Guidance on Surveys for Subsurface Radiological Contaminants,” Draft Technical Letter Report,” SC&A April 2021. ML21123A229


NUREG-1575, “Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM),” Revision 1, issued August 2000 (NRC 2000). MARSSIM Rev. 2 is soon to be issued for public comment but is available for early download at the EPA’s Science Advisory Board website: https://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/RSSRecentAdditionsBOARD/E1D35FEB397932FF8525854D00836CFA


NUREG/CR 7021, “A Subsurface Decision Model for Supporting Environmental Compliance,” issued January 2012.

 

Workshop Contacts:
Mark Fuhrmann, mark.fuhrmann@nrc.gov & Tom Aird, thomas.aird@nrc.gov

Thank you.
 

Anne Fream
Administrative Assistant
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
Division of Decommissionning, Uranium Recovery,
and Waste Programs
301-415-0645
anne.fream@nrc.gov