WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has, as expected, approved a 20-year license renewal for the third of three facilities operated by PSEG Nuclear in Salem County, NJ.

The 20-year renewal for Hope Creek will keep the plant in operation until 2046. Plant spokesman Joe Delmar says the process was far from easy, even with local public support.

“For the past two years we’ve had a dedicated team working with the NRC in providing documentation,” he told KYW Newsradio.  “Our original application was over 4,000 pages long.”

That application shows the safety improvements made over time and the operator’s plans for the future.

The other two plants in Lower Alloways Creek received 20-year extensions last month: Salem One till 2036, and Salem Two until 2040.

There is a pending request from PSEG for an early site permit, the first step to what could be a fourth plant at that location.  A decision on that permit isn’t expected for more than two years.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060