FENOC submitted a revised license renewal application to the NRC in 2007 for Unit 1 and Unit 2 to operate until 2036 and 2047, respectively. Unit 1's original license was set to expire in 2016 followed by Unit 2 in 2027.
"Today's NRC decision is an important milestone for FirstEnergy," said Anthony J. Alexander, president and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy. "I am very proud of our employees at Beaver Valley, who have not only maintained some of the highest safety and performance standards in the industry, but have worked to ensure that the plant remains a key asset to the company and the community for many years to come.
The license renewal was granted after the NRC thoroughly inspected and audited the plant's safety and environmental programs; heard detailed information from Beaver Valley representatives during five public meetings; and reviewed more than 3,000 pages of supporting documents. The NRC concluded there were no safety concerns that preclude license renewal.
"As a result of the license extension, the additional 20 years of operation means Beaver Valley will remain an important source of safe, reliable and clean electricity for the region while providing good paying jobs and financial support to the community," said Paul Harden, vice president of Beaver Valley.
Beaver Valley is capable of generating 1,815 megawatts (net), or enough electricity to power more than 1.4 million homes. In addition, plant operations avoid more than 12 tons of carbon dioxide gases annually, an amount equal to what would have been emitted by a similar-sized coal fired power plant.
The station is one of the largest taxpayers and employers in Beaver County. Annual property and payroll tax payments total $4 million, with some of the tax dollars supporting local schools and police and fire departments. The plant employs 950 highly trained professionals with an annual payroll of nearly $70 million. In addition, employees have contributed more than $1.2 million to local charitable organizations since 2001.
Beaver Valley Unit 1 and Unit 2 went into operation in 1976 and 1987, respectively. FENOC began operating the plant in 1999 after an asset transfer with Duquesne Light. Since that time, the company has invested more than $500 million to ensure continued safe and reliable operations including the replacement of Unit 1's reactor head and steam generators in 2006 and power output increases totaling 10 percent since 2002.
Beaver Valley is the 56th out of 104 nuclear reactors in the United State to receive a license extension from the NRC.