Exelon Generation Co. will officially operate the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in upstate New York at the end of the month after it gained the operating license from Entergy Nuclear Operations, said officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
The transfer will become effective March 31 once the NRC amends the license to reflect the plant’s new ownership, NRC officials said.
Entergy unveiled plans to cease operations at FitzPatrick in January, citing unfavorable economic conditions. Exelon agreed to purchase the plant and keep it operating after the New York Public Service Commission approved zero-emission credits for nuclear power plants. The two companies jointly applied for the license transfer Aug. 18.
FitzPatrick is a boiling-water reactor located near the shore of Lake Ontario in Scriba, NY, about six miles northeast of Oswego. It has a license to operate through Oct. 17, 2034. The license transfer includes the generally licensed independent spent fuel storage installation located on the plant grounds.
The NRC staff’s review of the license transfer application concluded that Exelon is financially and technically qualified to conduct the activities under the license, has satisfied the NRC’s decommissioning funding assurance requirements for the facility, and a foreign entity does not own, control, or dominate the company.
In addition, on March 1 FitzPatrick returned to full power following a refueling and maintenance outage that began January 14.
During the outage, more than 1,600 workers replaced about one-third of the reactor’s fuel and upgraded equipment, readying the plant for continued safe and reliable operation.
FitzPatrick originally was to shut down in January 2017, until Exelon Generation agreed to purchase the plant.
“We are looking forward to operating the FitzPatrick plant. The employees and the community have been extraordinarily welcoming over the past few months,” said Exelon Generation Senior Vice President of Operations Chris Mudrick. “It was encouraging to see Exelon’s technicians working side-by-side with FitzPatrick’s plant employees. This outage was important because it meant preserving hundreds of full-time jobs, not only at the plant but in the community.”
More than 1,000 contract workers supported the outage.
Exelon also provided more than 100 employees from across its nuclear fleet.
The company purchased new fuel for the reactor, which was a condition of the transaction. Entergy and Exelon worked together to plan and execute the refueling and maintenance.
In the near-term, Entergy and Exelon Generation are working closely together to assure a seamless transition between the companies, as FitzPatrick prepares to integrate into the Exelon nuclear fleet.
The 838-megawatt James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant generates electricity for more than 800,000 homes and businesses.
Exelon operates two other nuclear energy facilities in upstate New York: R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point, which is next to FitzPatrick.