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Mexico's energy ministry approves 30-year license extension for nuclear unit

Highlights

Laguna Verde-1 reactor will be able to operate until 2050

Laguna Verde-2 seeking similar 30-year license extension

Washington — Mexico's energy ministry has approved a 30-year extension of the operating license for one of the reactors at Laguna Verde, the country's only nuclear plant.

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Laguna Verde-1, an 810-MW boiling water reactor, will be authorized to operate until July 2050 under the extended license, the ministry said in a statement July 17. The approval was given following a review by the country's National Nuclear Safety and Safeguards Commission, the ministry said.

The unit's original 30-year license was to expire July 24.

The plant operator, the Federal Electricity Commission, sought the license renewal five years ago and was required to complete a series of upgrades, inspections, and tests that help to manage the aging of components at the reactor, which began commercial operation in 1990.

The second unit at Laguna Verde, also of 810 MW, has an operating license valid until April 2025, although an application for a similar extension has been filed and is under review, CFE said.

Nuclear power from Laguna Verde generated 5.2% of CFE's electricity in 2018, according to the ministry's Energy Information Data system.