Xcel Energy Proposes Accelerating Retirement of Coal-fired Electric Generating Units in Minnesota

LCG, October 7, 2015-Xcel Energy announced on October 2 its proposal to accelerate the company's transition from coal-fired electric generation resources to generating resources with less carbon emissions by retiring two, coal-fired units at its Sherburne County Generating Plant (Sherco) in Becker, Minnesota

LG&E and KU Announce the Retirement of the Coal-fired Green River Generating Station

LCG, October 2, 2015-Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Company (KU), subsidiaries of PPL Corp., yesterday announced the retirement of the coal-fired Green River Station, located in western Kentucky. The retirement of Units 3 and 4 on September 30 completes the least cost compliance plans announced by the utilities in 2011 to retire 800 MW of coal-fired generation to meet the environmental mandates issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Industry News

NRC Approves Rule to Amend AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design

LCG, December 26, 2011--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Wednesday voted to approve a rule that certifies an amended version of Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor design for use in the United States. NRC certification, in the form of a final rule, means the design meets the NRC's applicable safety requirements.

The NRC will make the rule immediately effective once it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected to be published within seven business days of the vote. The application to amend the 1,100-MW, electric pressurized-water reactor with passive safety features was submitted by Westinghouse on May 27, 2007.

NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko stated, "The Commission is able to reach this final step in approving the amended AP1000 reactor design due to the staff?s dedicated work ensuring the design meets NRC's safety requirements. The design provides enhanced safety margins through use of simplified, inherent, passive, or other innovative safety and security functions, and also has been assessed to ensure it could withstand damage from an aircraft impact without significant release of radioactive materials."

The NRC received the original AP1000 plant design from Westinghouse back in March 2002, and the NRC issued a rule certifying the design on January 27, 2006.

The NRC is now reviewing six Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) applications that reference the amended AP1000 design. Southern Company, one of the leading applicants, is developing two AP1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. Southern Nuclear, a Southern Company subsidiary that operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear units, is overseeing construction on the $14 billion project. Southern Nuclear is working under a Limited Work Authorization permit (since 2009) that allows for certain safety-related construction activities. Southern Nuclear will also operate the two new units. Southern expects commercial operations of the two new nuclear units to commence in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

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