The Tennessee Valley Authority said today it has completed its application with federal regulators to extend the operating life of its Sequoyah Nuclear Plant by another 20 years.
If approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the license extension would allow TVA to extend its original 40-year operating license until 2040 for the Unit 1 reactor and until 2041 for the Unit 2 reactor. TVA said it expects to spend about $23 million in the renewal process, including NRC charges to TVA to review the applications.
"By applying for a 20-year extension of our current operating license now, we are affirming to the NRC that our plant is safe and in solid material condition," TVA Chief Nuclear Officer Preston Swafford said in a statement today.
The NRC will conduct local public meetings over the next two years as part of the license application process.
Each of Sequoyah's two reactors is capable of producing more than 1,160 megawatts. Together, they can generate enough electricity to supply about 1.3 million homes. Sequoyah employs more than 800 people in full-time positions.
The NRC regulates more than 100 nuclear power reactors in the United States. The license renewal process takes about 30 months and includes specific requirements to assure safe plant operation.
In 2006, the NRC authorized renewal of 20-year operating licenses for Browns Ferry units 1, 2 and 3, allowing them to operate to 2033, 2034 and 2036, respectively.