BATON ROUGE, LA, JAN 7,2019 -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has renewed operating licenses for Entergy's two nuclear plants in Louisiana, River Bend Nuclear Station and Waterford 3 Steam Electric Station.
The license renewals allow for continued safe, secure and reliable operations of Waterford 3 through 2044, and River Bend through 2045, two additional decades past the original licensing dates. The 974-megawatt River Bend facility and 1,159-megawatt Waterford unit are the largest sources of carbon-free power in Louisiana. Together, the plants generate more than 16 percent of the state's electricity. In late December, Entergy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission participated in signing ceremonies for River Bend, located in St. Francisville, and Waterford 3, based in Kilona.
"The relicensing of River Bend and Waterford 3 paves the way for these clean energy sources to provide affordable, reliable and emissions-free electricity to our customers for years to come," said Phillip May, president and CEO, Entergy Louisiana. "Congratulations to the teams and their families for achieving these major milestones."
The license renewals are a result of intensive reviews and assessments to ensure the plants can continue to operate safely and reliably, and the protection of the environment can be assured during the 20-year period of extended operations.
"I am proud of this outstanding accomplishment for the team members at River Bend and Waterford 3, as well as our entire nuclear fleet," said Chief Nuclear Officer Chris Bakken. "Special thanks go to Entergy Nuclear's License Renewal Project team for their dedicated efforts. These regulatory outcomes allow Entergy to safely provide Louisiana's communities with carbon-free power for another 20 years and ensure our team members stay highly engaged in those communities."
Together, River Bend and Waterford 3 employ more than 1,500 highly skilled employees. The facilities pay more than $36 million annually in state and local taxes.
Employees in both communities maintain a strong presence by spending millions of dollars with local companies, volunteering their time and providing charitable contributions that promote community development, education and enhancement of the environment. In 2018 alone, River Bend and Waterford contributed more than $225,000 in charitable contributions.
Waterford 3 began commercial operation in 1985, with River Bend beginning the following year.
Renewing operation of the plants is another step toward Entergy maximizing its utility-region nuclear portfolio. Entergy Arkansas already has received license renewals for both units at Arkansas Nuclear One, and the company's Mississippi-located plant, Grand Gulf Nuclear Station, secured its license renewal in 2016.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to more than 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the company is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.