[ RadSafe ] Tennessee applies for 2 nuclear reactors

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Wed Oct 31 15:02:29 CDT 2007

Tennessee applies for 2 nuclear reactors 

WASHINGTON (AP) Oct 30 - The Tennessee Valley Authority filed an 
application Tuesday for a license to build and operate two new 
nuclear power reactors at a site in northern Alabama where it 
mothballed two reactor projects nearly two decades ago after 
investing billions of dollars. 

The filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, made in 
conjunction with an industrial consortium called NuStart, was the 
second application for a new commercial reactor in just over a month 
and is expected to usher in more applications.

Bill McCollum, TVA's chief operating officer, said it would be up to 
the TVA Board to decide whether to proceed with construction, but 
applying for a license as part of the NuStart consortium "is a cost 
effective way to preserve TVA's nuclear power option."

The application is the first to the NRC for construction of a 
Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, which would be built at TVA's Bellefonte 
site near Hollywood, Ala., where it halted construction on a pair of 
reactors in 1988 as the tide turned against nuclear power.

But the industry has been in a renaissance in recent years.

The application is the first made under the umbrella of the NuStart 
consortium, a group of electric power utilities that joined together 
to test the NRC's new, more streamlined reactor licensing program. 
The federal government paid for part of the licensing application 
costs under an Energy Department program to promote construction of 
new nuclear power plants.

Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell, joining TVA and NuStart officials 
at a news conference, said the TVA application is expected to 
establish the regulatory groundwork for future Westinghouse AP1000 

The application is "a monumental step toward the rebirth of nuclear 
power in the United States," said Sell.

The TVA, the nation's largest public power provider, operates six 
nuclear power reactors in Tennessee and Alabama.

It restarted its Browns Ferry Unit 1 reactor in Alabama last summer 
after a lengthy shutdown. In 1996 it began operating Unit 1 at Watts 
Bar in Tennessee, the last new nuclear reactor to come on line in the 
United States, although its license application predates the 1979 
Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvania.

McCollum said any TVA decision on whether to build a new twin-reactor 
power plant at Bellefonte will come later. Other utilities, as well 
as TVA, will be watching the NRC closely to see if its new 
streamlined licensing process __ which allows one-stop shopping for 
both construction and operation permits - will work.

If all goes as anticipated, TVA is widely expected to proceed with 
construction. The Energy Department said four other NuStart 
consortium members also have announced they expect to submit similar 
license applications to build Westinghouse reactors before the end of 
next year.

Under the new NRC licensing process, these applications will be 
allowed to reference the TVA application to speed up the process. 
Westinghouse Electric Co. is owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp.

Last month, NRG Energy Inc. submitted an application for two new 
reactor units at its Bay City, Texas, nuclear power plant site. Those 
would be boiling water reactor designs made by General Electric Co.

Prior to the NRG application, there had not been an application for a 
new nuclear power plant in the United States since before the Three 
Mile Island accident. Now the NRC says it expects as many as 21 
applications for 31 reactors over the next few years.

The rush to build reflects a resurgence in nuclear power in recent 
years as plant owners have been able to reduce operating costs, while 
the costs of producing electricity from both coal and natural gas 
have risen. The nuclear industry also has capitalized on the argument 
that nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases, a problem 
especially for coal-burning power plants that release large amounts 
of heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

Constellation Energy, based in Baltimore, also has been pushing ahead 
with plans to build a new nuclear power plant. It has submitted a 
partial application with the NRC for a new reactor, to be built by 
France's Areva Group, at the site of its existing Calvert Cliffs 
reactor on Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
Sander C. Perle
Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614 

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714  Extension 2306
Fax:(949) 296-1144

E-Mail: sperle at dosimetry.com
E-Mail: sandyfl at cox.net 

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 

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