NRC denies Duke Energy request

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has denied Duke Energy’s request for more time to transition to a revised fire protection system at Oconee Nuclear Station. Duke Energy had wanted a two-year extension, but the NRC said no in a letter this week. According to a safety evaluation prepared by the NRC, in 2006, Duke Energy disclosed plans to install a new protected service water system for the three reactors by the end of 2010.  As basis for the no decision, the NRC stated “the request to extend the schedule would extend the duration for which Duke Energy would operate Oconee Nuclear Station in a higher risk environment, which is a request to change the existing license. Also, the risk increase associated with this request is far greater than that specified as acceptable.”