Tuesday, January 24, 2023

NRC presentations on license extensions to 80 years, FYI

In the event that you are dealing with commercial nuclear reactor license renewal, to 80 years, these documents and presentation s may reveal NRC thinking on the matter.  Posted in ADAMS on January 13, 2023.

From 40 to 60 to 80 Years - What is Next for License Renewal in the USA? - Submitted to the IAEA Fifth International Conference on Nuclear Power Plant Life Management, November 28 to December 2, 2022

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From 40 to 60 to 80 Years – What is Next for License Renewal in the USA?

Brian W. Smith
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Division of New and Renewed Licenses
Washington, DC

License renewal in the United States enables extension of nuclear power plant
operating licenses for an additional 20 years of safe plant operation. This program has been
successful, with 90 percent (84 out of 92 units) of operating United States (U.S.) reactors
holding renewed licenses for operation beyond the original license period of 40 years. This
total includes 78 units with licenses to operate to 60 years, and an additional 6 units that
have received licenses for continued safe operation to 80 years, “subsequent license
renewal” in the U.S. A status of license renewal and subsequent license renewal in the U.S.
is provided, along with a description of several initiatives aimed at enhancing the license
renewal process.

1. Background

In accordance with Section 103c of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954, as amended,
nuclear power plants in the United States are licensed to operate for a term not exceeding
40 years, and licenses may be renewed. This original 40-year license term for reactor
licenses was based on economic and antitrust considerations – not on limitations of nuclear

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC’s) regulations related to renewal of
operating licenses for nuclear power plants are provided in Part 54 of Title 10 of the Code of
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 54, “Requirements for Renewal of Operating Licenses for
Nuclear Power Plants” [1]. 10 CFR 54.31(b) specifies that licenses may be renewed for a
specified period not to exceed 20 years, with the renewed license term not to exceed 40
years, just like the original license. In addition, 10 CFR 54.31(d) states that a renewed
license may be subsequently renewed in accordance with all applicable requirements, with
no explicit limit to the number of “subsequent” renewals for each license.

2. Assuring Plant Safety in the First 40 Years of Operation

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