The Tennessee Valley Authority will be able to continue to operate both units at its Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant for an additional 20 years beyond its original licensed time period under an operating license extension approved last week by the NRC. Unit 1 previously had a license to operate until September 2020 and unit 2 had a license to operate until September 2021.
TVA applied for this extension in 2013 and the NRC has been reviewing equipment, processes and procedures since then.
With the addition of the two Sequoyah reactors extensions brings the number of commercial nuclear power plants with renewed licenses to 78. Applications for an additional 16 renewals are currently under review.
“This milestone is a direct reflection of our ongoing commitment to safely operate Sequoyah to benefit the people we serve every day,” TVA’s Chief Nuclear Officer Joe Grimes said after the NRC granted the 20-year license extension. “Extending Sequoyah operations will play an integral role in reducing our carbon emissions while reliably supplying electricity at the lowest possible cost.”
TVA started building Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant in 1969 and operations started in 1981 and 1982. The reactors are Westinghouse Four-Loop PWR’s that generate 2,333 megawatts, which provide approximately enough power to 1.3 million homes.