Federal regulators renewed the operating license of Seabrook Station for an additional 20 years starting in 2030 until 2050.
That means Seabrook’s license will now expire March 15, 2050. The single pressurized-water reactor is located in Seabrook, NH, about 13 miles south of Portsmouth. The operator, NextEra Energy Seabrook, submitted the renewal application in May 2010.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) review of the application proceeded on two tracks.
A safety evaluation report ended up issued in September 2018, and a final supplemental environmental impact statement was issued in July 2015. These documents, as well as other information regarding the Seabrook license renewal application, are available on the NRC website.
The renewal review accounted for the discovery of a rare concrete degradation issue, “alkali-silica reaction” at Seabrook. The new license includes a management plan for the concrete cracks. Seabrook is the only nuclear plant in the country known to have them.
NextEra applied in August 2016 to amend Seabrook’s license for appropriate analysis of ASR-affected components. The NRC approved the amendment March 11. More information on the ASR issue is available on the NRC website. The NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards also reviewed the staff’s work on the license renewal application and recommended its approval.
With the renewal of the Seabrook operating license, 94 commercial nuclear power reactors have received renewed licenses (four of those have since permanently shut down). Three applications for subsequent license renewal are currently under review.