Following an extensive 26-month environmental and safety review, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the independent federal agency charged with the oversight and regulation of all U.S. nuclear power plants, has approved a 20-year license extension for the NextEra Energy Duane Arnold Energy Center (DAEC).
“This milestone opens the door to an additional 20 years of safe energy, clean power generation and jobs for Iowa,” said Site Vice President Chris Costanzo. “We have diligently maintained and upgraded our facility, and we are well-positioned to continue to power Eastern Iowa for many years to come.”
The NRC approval comes just over two years after NextEra Energy Duane Arnold and its joint owners, Central Iowa Power Cooperative and Corn Belt Power Cooperative, entered the extremely rigorous and comprehensive license extension process managed by the NRC.
DAEC’s initial 40-year operating license was granted in 1974 and set to expire in 2014. Like all other nuclear power plants, the DAEC license was issued for 40 years based on accounting estimates of the time required to recover plant construction costs. The DAEC application covered the environmental impact of an additional 20 years of operation and evaluated the station’s maintenance and engineering programs. These programs will ensure the station can safely operate over the extended license period. The nearly 2,000-page application document summarized the results of detailed evaluations regarding how material and components in the plant age and how aging will be managed by testing, inspection, refurbishing, or the replacement of plant equipment. To receive license extension approval, the plant was required to demonstrate that technical information is in compliance with federal regulations. The license extension process also included on-site inspections and opportunities for public participation.
“License extension for DAEC is a big win for our state because this facility is a clean, reliable source of affordable electricity for Iowans, and Central Iowa Power Cooperative is proud to be one of the original co-owners,” stated CEO and Executive Vice President for Central Iowa Power Cooperative Dennis Murdock. “With this license extension, DAEC will continue to be a significant source of economic activity for Eastern Iowa and an essential component of our more than 40 percent carbon and emission-free portfolio for another 20 years.”
“We are pleased to have the extension approved and look forward to the next 20 years of providing nuclear energy to our member cooperatives. This source of carbonless generation plays an important role in Corn Belt Power’s mission to provide reliable and affordable power to the members who own its cooperatives,” says Corn Belt Power Cooperative Executive Vice President and General Manager Kenneth Kuyper.
Iowa State Senator Swati Dandekar, whose district includes Duane Arnold, noted, “Duane Arnold has a good history in our community and plays an important role in our energy future.”
The facility is owned by NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC (70 percent), Central Iowa Power Cooperative (20 percent) and Corn Belt Power Cooperative (10 percent). The plant has more than 600 employees.
NextEra Energy, Inc.
NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), which previously operated as FPL Group, is a leading clean energy company with 2009 revenues of more than $15 billion, nearly 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and approximately 15,000 employees in 28 states and Canada. Headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla., NextEra Energy’s principal subsidiaries are NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and Florida Power & Light Company, which serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the country. Through its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy collectively operates the third largest U.S. nuclear power generation fleet. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com,www.NextEraEnergyResources.com, www.FPL.com.
Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) is a member-owned, not-for-profit, generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative serving 13 rural electric cooperatives and associations. As Iowa’s largest cooperative energy provider, CIPCO serves approximately 311,700 Iowans in 58 counties; with offices in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, transmission offices in Wilton and Creston, and generating facilities in Montpelier (Fair Station) and Creston (Summit Lake). For more information regarding CIPCO visit our website at www.cipco.net.
Corn Belt Power Cooperative is a generation and transmission cooperative that provides electricity to 10 rural electric cooperatives (RECs) and one municipal electric cooperative. These utilities provide power to farms, rural residences, small towns and commercial/industrial customers in 41 northern Iowa counties. Visit www.cbpower.coop.