Frequently Asked Questions on License Renewal of Nuclear Power Reactors (NUREG-1850)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2006
Date Published: March 2006

Division of License Renewal
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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With the increase in the number of power reactors submitting applications for renewed licenses, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff realized that members of the public near different power reactor sites had similar questions related to the license renewal process and the risks associated with renewing the licenses. This report, through a question-and-answer format, provides staff responses to frequently asked questions on the license renewal process for commercial, nuclear power reactors. The questions were taken from a variety of sources over the past several years, including written inquiries to the NRC and questions asked at public meetings and during informal discussions with the NRC staff. In responding to the questions, the NRC staff attempted to provide the answers in a clear and non-technical form.

This document contains a definition of license renewal including information related to the timing and scheduling of the license renewal process. It also discusses the NRC's role in reviewing, approving, or denying license renewal and the regulatory basis for the review. Because the public usually encounters the license renewal process in conjunction with the environmental review, this document is primarily focused on the environmental review process and on related issues such as alternatives to license renewal and human health issues. However, other aspects of license renewal are addressed, including questions related to the safety reviews, the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel, and security issues. There are also responses to questions related to public involvement and to finding sources of additional information on the license renewal process.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, March 09, 2021