NRC Grants First-Ever 80 Year Extension

he NRC grants the first-ever 80-year license renewal extension to Turkey Point

Turkey Point Plant | Image from Florida Power and Light

The NRC grants the first-ever 80-year license renewal extension to Turkey Point in Southern Florida. OTEK provides meters for the facility.

In a move that will surely turn environmentalists and climate change activists green with envy, the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) passed a referendum to extend a nuclear power plant’s operating license for 80 years. Last week the NRC approved a second operating license of 20 years for the Turkey Point reactors in southern Florida, which had previously been extended to 60 years.

The move comes at a crucial time for the American nuclear fleet, as the past decade saw a marked decline in operational nuclear plants, with half of the U.S. plants projected to shut down by 2040 without federal aid such as license renewals, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). Of the 58 nuclear plants operating around the country today, an overwhelming majority were built in the 1970s and ’80s—bringing them close to retirement as outlined in their original 40-year life expectancy plan. Even with the advent of 20-year extensions, the current political and environmental climate does not bode well for 60-year-old plants—especially considering the widespread popularity of natural gas and carbon-conscious renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower.

The 80-year extension at Turkey Point is in many ways a heart transplant for the nuclear industry. Though the word nuclear has long been synonymous with nefarious associations thanks to disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima, as well as sensational propaganda like the 1979 film The China Syndrome, the indisputable fact is that nuclear is the cleanest, most carbon-free, and most efficient energy source known to man. All renewables combined make up 16% of the U.S. energy generation, compared to nuclear’ s standalone 19%. And given the enormous challenges involved with building new power plants, the most viable option for our leading clean energy source is to keep our existing nuclear plants operational with security updates and improved efficiency.

OTEK has long been a dedicated supplier of process control and measurement instrumentation for the nuclear industry, with several of our panel meters installed in the Turkey Point reactors themselves. Our Plug & Play technology, along with highly flexible reverse engineering capabilities, has allowed us to design and produce metering technology specifically to aid applications within nuclear I&C rooms. Our HI-Q119 models populate the Turkey Point reactors, and their Form, Fit, and Function replacement, the NTM-9 was designed to aid the nuclear industry with superior technology.

Part of our award-winning New Technology Series, the NTM-9 can be qualified as a Class 1E safety-related meter for nuclear applications that adheres to the cybersecurity requirements mandated by NEI 08-09. A programmable, intelligent instrument, the NTM-9 features a 4 digit display, an automatic tricolor bar graph with intensity control, an input fail alarm with a run-time stamp that alerts the attending operator in the event of a lost or dead signal, self-diagnostics, isolated serial I/O, USB/RS485, a configurable bar direction (up/down/center zero) intensity control, math functions, over 30 isolated input signals, 4 relays or open collector transistors, 4-20mA/30V output, and is backed by our lifetime warranty.

In addition to replacing our HI-Q119 unit, the NTM-9 also replaces popular analogs such as the GE 180, Yokogawa 180, Westinghouse VX251/VX252, Dixon BB101/202PV, Sigma 1151/1251, and the Crompton 128 among others.

While the decision by the NRC to provide Turkey Point an additional 20-years for an 80-year license is a momentous stride in the future of the American nuclear fleet, it remains to be seen how it will play out over the industry as a whole. Come what may, OTEK stands with nuclear energy as the tip of the sword in the battle to reverse climate change.

For more information on the NTM-9 or any other of our diverse product catalog, please call 520-748-7900 or email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com