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Wednesday
Nov282018

Beyond Nuclear opposing Second License Renewal for Peach Bottom reactors in Pennsylvania

Beyond Nuclear is requesting that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) convene a public hearing and legal intervention into Exelon Generation’s application to extend the operations of its two-unit Peach Bottom nuclear power station in Delta, PA by another 20 years.  Peach Bottom Units 2 & 3 are already operating in their first 20-year license extension to the original 40-year license that expired in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Exelon is now seeking to extend Peach Bottom’s operating license from 2033 to 2053 for Unit 2 and 2034 to 2054 for Unit 3.

Beyond Nuclear contends that Exelon’s extension application fails to comply with NRC regulations requiring Exelon to sufficiently demonstrate how it will manage increasing wear and tear caused by the combination of extreme heat, pressure, radiation and vibration on Peach Bottom safety systems throughout the requested 60- to 80-year extended period of operation. With the nuclear industry trending towards increasing reactor closures due to economical, technological and political challenges, Exelon does not detail how its age management program will collect sufficient operating experience either from the Peach Bottom units and the shrinking fleet nor provide alternative means (i.e., laboratory studies of materials samples harvested from decommissioning units) to gather the data needed to manage  age-related degradation such as embrittlement, corrosion, cracking and fatigue projected into the license renewal period beginning in 2034 and 2035.

Beyond Nuclear has retained the Washington, DC law firm of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg and Eisenberg, LLP and David Lochbaum, a widely recognized independent nuclear engineer, reactor safety consultant and expert witness.