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U.S. Department Of Energy Commends Industry Consortia for Making Headway to Build Much-Needed, New Nuclear Reactors in U.S.

October 30, 2007 - 4:21pm

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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Secretary Clay Sell today commended the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the NuStart Energy Development consortium (NuStart) for submission of its combined Construction and Operating License (COL) application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  This application marks the second to the NRC in nearly 30 years to build a new nuclear reactor.  Specifically, TVA's application seeks approval to build and operate two Westinghouse AP1000 advanced commercial nuclear reactors at its Bellefonte site near Hollywood, Alabama, and will serve as the reference application for future utilities applying for an AP1000 COL.

"The submission of this license application is a necessary and monumental step toward the rebirth of nuclear power in the United States, and I commend TVA and NuStart for working with the Department of Energy, and for making headway to build much-needed, new nuclear reactors," Deputy Secretary Sell said.  "Through public-private sector collaboration, loan guarantees and tax incentives, this Administration is providing sound and stable policy that will propel the nuclear industry to continue with the type of momentum this Nation hasn't seen in over 30 years."

This application, catalyzed by DOE's Nuclear Power 2010 program (NP2010), will set the regulatory groundwork for dozens of AP1000 reactors to be built.  Through its work with NP2010, NuStart Energy, LLC - a consortium of energy companies and nuclear vendors - promotes a unified industry approach toward identifying and addressing regulatory and licensing issues early and, through collaboration with industry peers, works to achieve standardization in the design and licensing of new reactors.

In 2005, DOE selected NuStart to demonstrate the NRC's untested process for licensing new reactors in the United States, and for obtaining regulatory approval of new reactor designs.  The shared focus, use of industry experience, commitment to quality, and cooperation - coupled with early engagement with the NRC - are designed to provide a thorough and quality product for NRC review.  NuStart's members share costs and risks, and companies throughout the industry are benefiting from the consortium's work as they pursue their own efforts.

Current NuStart utility members include: Constellation Energy, Baltimore, Maryland; Duke Energy, Charlotte, North Carolina; EDF International North America, Washington, DC, the U.S. subsidiary of the French electric utility; Entergy Nuclear, Jackson, Mississippi; Exelon Generation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Florida Power & Light Company, Juno Beach, Florida; Progress Energy, Raleigh, North Carolina; South Carolina Electric & Gas, Columbia, South Carolina; Southern Company, Atlanta, Georgia; and Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Four other NuStart member utilities have announced they expect to submit COL applications to the NRC by the end of 2008 that will reference TVA's Bellefonte application for the AP1000 reactor design, ensuring standardization of the design and saving review time and resources.  In addition, using the success of NuStart as a foundation for developing applications, three other NuStart members have announced plans to submit license applications for different technologies.

Announced in 2002, NP2010 is a joint government/industry cost-shared effort that can help provide solutions to meet future base load energy demand and address climate change.  Specifically, NP2010 seeks to: demonstrate new, untested processes for licensing reactors in the United States; identify sites for new nuclear power plants, complete first-of-a-kind engineering of new reactor designs; develop and bring to market advanced nuclear plant technologies, and evaluate the business case for building new nuclear power plants.

The Nuclear Energy Office has additional information on NP2010 and other DOE nuclear energy programs.

Media contact(s):

Angela Hill, (202) 586-4940

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