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NRC grants 2 Entergy-owned nuclear plants 20-year license extensions.

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Entergy's River Bend nuclear power plant in West Feliciana Parish, La.

Source: Entergy Corp.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission renewed the operating licenses of Entergy Corp.'s Waterford 3 and River Bend nuclear power plants in Louisiana so they can now run 20 years beyond their initial 40-year terms.

On Dec. 31, 2018, the NRC renewed the operating license of Waterford 3, which is approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans in St. Charles Parish, La., and has a nameplate capacity of approximately 1,200 MW. The renewed operating license of Waterford's single-pressurized water reactor, which first came online in 1985, will now expire in December 2044.

Days before, the NRC approved a new license for River Bend, which is about 24 miles northwest of Baton Rouge in West Feliciana Parish, La. and has a nameplate capacity of approximately 1,036 MW. The operating license for River Bend's single boiling-water reactor, which came online in 1986, will now expire at the end of August 2045.

The NRC said the two renewals now mean that 93 of the 94 U.S. reactors that sought license extensions beyond their initial 40-year terms have been granted, including four reactors that have permanently shut down since the NRC approved their renewals. According to the commission, the U.S. has an operating fleet of 97 reactors, and NextEra Energy Inc.'s majority-owned Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire is the lone initial license renewal application still awaiting NRC action.