FPL wants St. Lucie nuclear power units renewed to run through 2050s and 2063

Image credit by Florida Power & Light

Florida Power & Light is moving early to ask for federal licensing renewal for its two St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant units 1 and 2.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made FPL’s request, submitted earlier this month, available to the public. If approved, these would be the second license renewals for the units originally commissioned in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

St. Lucie’s two units located on Hutchinson Island along Florida’s east coast can generate more than 1 GW each at capacity. Unit 1 is already approved to run through early 2036, while Unit 2 can perform through 2043.

FPL is asking for NRC approval to operate each unit 20 more years beyond their current licensing dates. Federal rules limit licensing applications to within 20 years of the previous expiration date, but the utility has requested an exemption to that requirement, according to the application letter.

The NRC last approved requests for St. Lucie license renewals in 2003. The approximately 2-GW nuclear plant is powered by two Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactors.

In 2012, an uprate project removed and replaced the steam generators, with Babcock & Wilcox designing and manufacturing the equipment for Unit 1 and AREVA for Unit 2.

Unit 1 is wholly owned by Florida Power & Light. FPL is majority owner of Unit 2, while Orlando Utilities Commission and Florida Municipal Power Agency are part owners.

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