Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Constellation Submits Application For New Nuclear Plant

Constellation Energy Group has filed the environmental report portion of a Combined Operating License application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build a 1,600-megawatt reactor at a location adjacent to the current Calvert Cliffs site in Lusby, Maryland. This is the equivalent of two large plants. The two reactors currently at the site went into operation in 1975 and 1977 and are located about 50 miles southeast of Washington, DC. Total application development and processing costs for a COL can be as high as $100 million. The NRC technical review could last 36-42 months and includes public hearings. It then takes at least 7 years to construct a plant. We have to figure out a way to speed up this process and reduce the cost. Current estimates of plant construction costs are approximately $4 billion. Again, this is the equivalent of two large plants so the average cost of one plant will hopefully be around $2 billion.

On July 20 Constellation and Electricite de France (EdF) announced their intent to form a joint venture. Upon successful completion of the deal, EdF will make an initial investment of $350 million and will invest up to $275 million later to develop nuclear plants in the U.S. and Canada. EdF is the largest electricity producer in Europe. It has operated 58 nuclear plants for more than 20 years. AAEA supports this project. The Wahington Post got some of its information wrong. We talked to Constellation so get your facts here. (Wash Post)

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