New Jersey plants seek subsequent license renewals

April 4, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Hope Creek and Salem nuclear power plants. (Photo: PSE&G)

PSEG Nuclear LLC announced this week it will pursue subsequent license extensions to keep the three reactors at its Hope Creek and Salem plants operating for an additional 20 years. Both plants had been granted initial life extensions years ago by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Salem-1 and -2 on June 30, 2011, and Hope Creek on July 20, 2011.

Now, the company has notified the NRC of its plans to keep Salem-1 and -2 and Hope Creek operating beyond 2050. These plants are all located on Artificial Island in Salem County, N.J.

Quotable: “For more than five decades, the nuclear generating stations in south Jersey have safely generated reliable, always-on, carbon-free energy,” said Charles McFeaters, chief nuclear officer of PSEG Nuclear, in a statement. “Seeking to renew our licenses signifies our commitment to continuing to contribute to New Jersey’s clean energy future and serving as a vital economic engine for the local community.”

The details: PSEG won’t formally file its subsequent renewal requests until the second quarter of 2027 but needed to notify the NRC well in advance to prepare for the review. If approved, the extended operating licenses for Salem-1 and -2 would move from 2036 and 2040 to 2056 and 2060, respectively; Hope Creek would move from a 2046 expiration to 2066.

These three reactors provide nearly half of New Jersey’s electricity.

Added support: A nuclear production tax credit that went into effect this year under the federal Inflation Reduction Act provides nine years of financial support for nuclear operators. Also, state lawmakers approved a $300 million customer-funded subsidy for nuclear back in 2019.

Both incentives aim to support carbon-free nuclear as an alternative energy source to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change.

The license extension request comes as New Jersey is making a push for additional offshore wind power. The extended nuclear plant operations would provide assurance to the state as it pursues additional clean energy.


Learn more about the trends in nuclear plant license renewals and detailed information about nuclear plants worldwide in the Reference Section of Nuclear News’s March issue.


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