FPL files report, asks NRC to reinstate Turkey Point’s 20-year subsequent renewal term

June 24, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News
Turkey Point nuclear plant. (Image: FPL)

Florida Power & Light (FPL) has submitted a supplemental environmental report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in support of the subsequent renewed licenses for Turkey Point Units 3 and 4. According to a June 22 NRC press release, FPL’s report was submitted on June 10 to satisfy a “deficiency” in subsequent license renewal applications (SLRA) that rely on the generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) on license renewal and is being reviewed prior to docketing. William D. Maher, director of nuclear licensing projects at FPL, submitted the report, noting that “FPL’s review did not identify any information materially changing the impact assessments” in the NRC’s supplemental GEIS for the Turkey Point licenses.

Commission actions: The NRC’s approval of the SLRA for Turkey Point in December 2019 extended the reactor’s expiration dates to July 2052 for Unit 3 and April 2053 for Unit 4, permitting a total 80 years of operation.

The Commission issued decisions on February 24, one of which concluded that the GEIS on license renewal analyzed only the environmental impacts of an initial 20-year license renewal term and did not apply to a subsequent renewal term. Because the environmental review of Turkey Point’s subsequent renewed license relied on the GEIS, it was deemed incomplete.

A separate Commission decision provided an option for license holders, including FPL, to provide additional environmental information on a site-specific basis, instead of waiting for NRC staff to revise the GEIS and complete a related rulemaking.

A June 3 memorandum and order from the commission affirmed that Turkey Point’s subsequent renewed licenses remain in effect with altered due dates. The June 3 order stated in part that “since 2019, FPL has been operating under the subsequently renewed licenses, which include safety enhancements compared to the previous licenses. To best reconcile FPL’s current licensing bases with the recognition that the agency’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review was incomplete, we directed that the subsequently renewed licenses remain in place but with shortened terms to match the end dates of the previous licenses until completion of the NEPA analysis.”

FPL site-specific review: FPL’s Maher, in a cover letter accompanying the supplemental environmental report, stated that “neither the FPL ER [environmental report] nor the NRC Supplemental GEIS identified any new and significant information related to the Turkey Point SLRA that would change any impact finding in the NRC’s GEIS for the subsequent period of extended operation or otherwise render the analyses in the GEIS inapplicable to an evaluation of the Turkey Point subsequent period of extended operation.”

He went on to explain that “FPL elected and completed a site-specific SLR environmental review of Turkey Point Units 3 and 4 operation[s], with the enclosed SLRA ER supplement addressing each previously generically addressed issue on a site-specific basis. This review confirmed that the environmental impact conclusions in NRC’s 2013 GEIS for license renewal continue to bound operation of Turkey Point during the subsequent period of extended operation.

“FPL’s review did not identify any information materially changing the impact assessments provided in the NRC’s Supplemental GEIS for the Turkey Point SLRA. Therefore, we expect that upon independent review of the site-specific information provided in the enclosed ER supplement, the NRC can expeditiously supplement its Final GEIS for the Turkey Point SLRA to address the Commission’s direction in CLI-22-02 and restore the additional 20 years of operation provided by the 2019 subsequent renewed Facility Operating Licenses.”

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