Indian Point 3 Timely Renewal

Diane Screnci
Sr. Public Affairs Officer
Region I

It’s been more than eight years since Entergy filed an application requesting that the NRC renew the operating licenses for Indian Point Units 2 and 3. And, a final decision is still a ways off.

indianpointUnder NRC regulations, if a company submits a sufficient application for a renewed license at least five years before the expiration of the current license, then the request is considered “timely” and the facility is allowed to continue operating under its current license until the NRC issues a decision on the license renewal request.

On December 13th, Indian Point 3 will enter the period of “timely renewal.”  Entergy submitted a license renewal application for both Indian Point Units in April 2007, meeting the timeliness provision. The Unit 3 license would have expired December 12, 2015. This doesn’t mean the unit will be operating without a license. Rather Unit 3, like Unit 2 (which entered timely renewal in September 2013), will continue to operate under its existing license.

The Atomic Energy Act specifies that operating licenses can be issued for up to 40 years and allows license renewals in 20 year increments. Thus far, the NRC has issued renewed licenses to 81 reactors. Typically, it takes about 22 months for the staff to reach a decision on whether to renew a license – longer if there’s a hearing. In the case of Indian Point, though, the process has taken longer than projected, due in part to the large number of contentions the parties have raised in the hearing.

Although a final decision on the application hasn’t been reached, the NRC staff has measures in place to provide assurance the facility will continue to operate safely during this time period.  We’ll continue to carry out our extensive regulatory and oversight activities. NRC inspectors, including the three on-site Resident Inspectors and specialist inspectors from the Regional office, will continue their duties during this period, providing independent oversight of the facility on a continual basis.

In a September 28 letter to the NRC, Entergy confirmed that the Unit 3 license renewal commitments required to be in place prior to entry into the period of extended operation were complete. In October, Entergy certified that the Indian Point 3 Updated Final Safety analysis report had been updated to incorporate aging management programs for the unit. In response, that same month, we completed an inspection to review the activities Entergy has taken to prepare for operating in timely renewal and found that the processes and commitments had been properly implemented.

While it might be some time before the Commission reaches a final decision on license renewal at Indian Point, our independent oversight of the facility will continue uninterrupted while in “timely renewal.”

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

10 thoughts on “Indian Point 3 Timely Renewal”

  1. “Timely Renewal” could erode public trust and confidence in the regulator and the industry.

    It indicates shortfalls in competence, integrity, compliance, and transparency.

    It smacks of gaming the system.

    It was a bad idea.

    What would it have taken to avoid using it?

    What were the conditions, behaviors, actions, and inactions that made it attractive?

  2. I guess Dan I must be one of those “usual suspects”. You know the type that seeks “to detract from the NRC’s effort to advance the education of those genuinely seeking reliable information”. I am shocked to learn that I am getting in the way of the advancement of education in any way. I thought at one time Dan you were so upset with folks like me that you threatened to deprive us of your vast nuclear knowledge. I am glad you are back dealing with us ignorant fear-mongering suspects.
    So Dan you want to throttle us suspects not only at public meetings but on this blog as well. We desperately need an outlet for our miserable lives Dan. If you deprive us of this simple pleasure what are we supposed to do with all our extra time? It may be hard for you to be civil in your response to this question so just pass on it if you can.
    Last time I checked even suspects have a right to their time in court. It does not become you Dan to kill us messengers even though you think our message is hogwash. Please continue to set us straight Dan or we might think that some of our comments hit home. They might, on rare occasions, be getting through all the industry and NRC propaganda. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  3. When the NRC gets its arms around the whole business of conducting civil, productive public meetings (see http://atomicinsights.com/agencies-should-not-allow-creation-of-a-hostile-environment-at-public-meetings), some of those lessons learned should be applied to running this blog. It soon becomes obvious to the casual reader that a short list of the usual suspects come here for no other purpose than to disrupt the conveyance of information from the regulator to the public. Most of what happens here is little more than a written version of the anarchy seen at some public meeting venues. Those blog “contributors” whose M.O.’s regularly include broad-brush, unsubstantiated attacks on the ethics and reputations of both the regulator and the regulated are, at every opportunity, seeking to detract from the NRCs effort to advance the education of the those genuinely seeking reliable information. This well-worn tactic of spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt by defaming the messenger and anyone with the audacity to disagree with them should be relegated to the trash heap of history. Those who display no ability (or willingness) to engage in civil discourse should, in no uncertain terms, be shown the virtual door.

  4. “breeder technologies” has never worked well to my knowledge. Trans uranics are only reduced maybe. And you still end up with more “fission products” with “high cost” and obvious releases.

  5. “Timely” is just another NRC gift to the Nuclear Industry; if the NRC really had BRASS they would also increase (dare I say TRIPLE) the number of on site inspections of all Operators that are operating in a “timely” manner; this would encourage Operators to run their plants in a safer manner, since they are aging and therefore more apt to have problems, that the USA cannot afford to have happen.

    The NRC “rule of thumb” should be as plants age the amount of inspections should increase dramatically and these inspections should be both surprised and/or by additional NRC inspectors from out of the Region so that no more San Onofre’s happen.

    #SanOnofreGate The hashtag that will allow you to keep up with the ongoing investigation into the multi-billion $ SCE-CPUC ripoff at San Onofre NPP, which was destroyed by SCE when they installed RSG that had design flaws that caused them to fail** soon after being installed which then led to decommissioning San Onofre to hide Operator and NRC regulatory wrong doing.

    * The FOUR almost-new San Onofre RSG’s had more damaged and/or plugged tubes than the rest of the US power plants combined, which is unprecedented in the history of the U.S. Operating Nuclear Fleet. http://sanonofresafety.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/steamgeneratortubesplugged1.pdf

  6. Indian Point (What’s the Point?!)
    Entergy is a company that is bailing out of the nuclear power plant business. They have announced plans to shutter their Fitzpatrick nuke plant in NY and their Pilgrim nuke plant near Boston. Earlier Entergy shuttered their Vermont Yankee nuke plant and the plant is currently in the early stages of decommissioning. So why is Entergy still so intent on renewing the license of their Indian Point (IP) nuke units in the backyard of New York City?!
    Entergy has a poor safety track record with the nukes it owns and operates, including the Indian Point nuke units. Entergy has cited, as reasons for shuttering its nuke plants, the cost of upgrading safety systems and especially the fact that they can no longer compete economically with plentiful and cheap natural gas-fired generation.
    Entergy was the first company in the US to purchase a nuclear plant through competitive bidding back in 1999. It was the Pilgrim plant. They then spent millions of ratepayer dollars to extend the life of Pilgrim only to turn around and announce its impending closure shortly thereafter.
    Is Entergy going to do the same soon with Indian Point?! We can only hope so for the NRC will no doubt extend this plant’s operating license as well, damn the torpedoes (the NRC calls these “contentions” above) and the potential public safety impact on the 17,220,895 (2010 census data) people who live within 50 miles of these nukes.
    IP is “unsafe at any speed” and should be shuttered immediately. We cannot depend on Entergy to put plant and public safety first and Indian Point makes for a very tempting terrorist target.

  7. Considering the urgency of eliminating fossil carbon burning, and the inability of “current solar renewables” to do so, it is high time that the NRC were required to give an environmental assessment of any delays in their licensing procedures. There have been NO meltdowns in the USA since Three Mile Island, and that one was wildly exaggerated. The world’s other two such “disasters” wer in the Chernobyl case, monumental incompetence, and in Japan, a monumentally larger pair of tectonic events than had occurred before in the history of detailed records.
    Meanwhile, the sluggishness of the NRC process has greatly discouraged cleaner and safer nuclear breeder technologies that in fact create a better “renewable resource” than the fashionable use of old fashioned sun, wind, rain and biomass.

  8. Low and behold here is another instance, (previously Indian point 2 and now Indian point 3,) how utilities exploit federal bureaucracy to their gleeful advantage. It looks as though renewal rule is written (software developer’s usual practice) to leave a deliberate advantage for stake holders to secure a back stage entry.

    Guess what, do anyone believe, any time soon, the contentions the parties have raised in the hearing are ever going to be resolved?

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