Nuclear Power Plants: 92 licensed in the US; 20 expire in less than 10 yr construction time

Will the licenses be renewed or extended?
If not will they be replaced? With what technology?


The dates on the link you provided are not exactly accurate, in some cases. Peach Bottom 2 & 3 and Turkey Point 3 & 4 show lifetimes of 80 years. It is true, those plants were approved to run for 80 years, but the NRC subsequently reversed their 2nd license extensions, so now they are licensed for 60 years. However, the reversals are not permanent. The operators just need to address some concerns that certain environmental groups posed and revise the environmental impact statements, from what I understand.

More on Turkey Point and Peach Bottom here:

The next licenses to expire are Diablo Canyon 1 & 2 in California. Those plants were scheduled to shut down in 2024 and 2025. However, the state now says the plants are needed to supply adequate power. The NRC will reportedly allow the plants to continue to run while the state and utility come up with a plan to either apply for license extension or shut them down.

More on Diablo Canyon:

Now that Vogtle 3 is on-line, and Vogtle 4 will soon be, we might see some announcements for new nuclear power construction in the US. The Idaho National Laboratory will host a demonstration NuScale Small Modular Reactor plant, which has NRC design approval. The Tennessee Valley Authority also has plans for SMRs at Oak Ridge.

The EPA is trying to push through regulations requiring most fossil fuel power plants to install some kind of carbon capture and storage technology. If the EPA is successful, that will make new nuclear look more attractive in comparison. Of course, the political environment also affects these things, so the next several years will be interesting.

  • Pete
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Vogtle 3 & 4 had the effect of hitting the hopes of the American large scale nuclear industry on the head with an axe, shooting it with a shotgun, carving up the remains in to bite sized pieces, and feeding it to the sharks. The sharks were then captured and fed to zoo animals.

Thanks to Vogtle, we will never see another large scale nuclear power plant in the United States as long as any of us will live.


I hear you saying small modular is the future–if we are to have nuclear.

First SMR yet to be built or approved? Years away? Easy to construct? 3 years? 5 years?

Or is fusion more likely?

There are two SMR projects underway in the US that I’m aware of, one in Idaho and one in Wyoming, each is being built by a different company. Both are expected to come online by the end of the decade. If they work out, I’d expect to see SMRs being built at scale by the end of the decade after that.

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The UAMPS project in Idaho looks to be the first on the path.

From the link:
Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), a political subdivision of the State of Utah that wholly owns CFPP LLC—the entity established to develop, build, and operate the first-of-a-kind SMR project at an Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site in Idaho Falls, Idaho—on Tuesday said the COLA [combined operating license application] is on track for submittal to the NRC in January 2024.

If the NRC approves the COLA, construction of the project could begin in 2026, with the first VOYGR-6 module scheduled to be in service by December 2029. All modules are slated to be in service by November 2030.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

The finished plant will have a combined capacity of 462 megawatts electric (6 SMRs at 77 MW each). This also assumes the NRC will approve a power uprate for the NuScale plants. They are currently licensed for 50 MW each. As a comparison, the new Vogtle plants can generate 1100 MW each.

As described in the link, inflation is impacting this project, as with all things. The price of steel has gone way up in the last few years.

  • Pete

Pv magazine article re replacing Vogtle plants with solar plus storage:



Germany has replaced all their nuclear power plants with other sources of power generation - mostly renewables.



And how is that working out for Germany?


The people of Germany are VERY happy that they do not have nuclear power power plants.

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The WAPO article makes a mistake when states:
"It [Germany] has the second-most carbon-intensive electricity grid in the Group of Seven, beaten only by Japan, which is now restarting some of its nuclear plants.

The facts show that in the G7 Germany has lower carbon-intensive electricity grid than USA, Italy and Japan. Germany generates 50.8% of its electricity with fossil fuels. USA generates 59.5% of its electricity with fossil fuels, Italy generates 63.6% w/fossil fuels, and Japan generates 71% w/fossil fuels.

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