Going Green

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Two New Nuke Plants

This article is from EERE News at the DOE.

September 26, 2007
Companies File the First Nuclear Plant Application in 29 Years

The biggest step yet toward reinvigorating the nuclear power industry in the United States happened on September 25th, when NRG Energy, Inc. and the South Texas Nuclear Operating Company filed for a license to build and operate two new nuclear plants in Texas. The two facilities will be built at the South Texas Project nuclear power station, where two nuclear power plants are already in operation. The proposed Units 3 and 4 will have a combined generating capacity of at least 2,700 megawatts and will employ Advanced Boiling Water Reactor technology, which is currently in use in Japan.

The two companies submitted their Combined Construction and Operating License Application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), making them the first to test this new application process. The NRC will now begin an estimated two-month acceptance review process, followed by a detailed review process that could take up to three and a half years. Based on that schedule, the companies hope to receive their license approval and begin construction in 2010, with the aim of bringing Unit 3 online in 2014 and Unit 4 online in 2015. See the NRG Energy press release.

DOE welcomed the news, hailing it as the first step to a "substantial deployment" of nuclear power in the United States. DOE also released a Conditional Agreement for companies building new nuclear power plants in the United States to qualify for a portion of $2 billion in federal risk insurance. Risk insurance covers costs associated with certain regulatory or litigation-related delays that stall the start-up of these plants. Authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, risk insurance provides incentive and stability in spurring construction of new nuclear power plants. See the DOE press releases on the license application and the risk insurance.

Nuclear power has got to be part of the solution. One of the biggest problems besides the regulatory issues is the huge amount of capital required to get a Nuclear Power Plant up and going. Also, note the extended timeframe required just for startup.

1 comment:

scotte said...

I have noticed that nuclear energy gets a dreary aura, when written about in mainstream media.
The navy has been using nuclear energy to run ships and subs safely for years.
Has anyone (especially a panhandle poet) ever thought about the loss of our panoramic view. I'm talking about wind generators. They are popping up on every mountain top in texas.

At least a pump jack doesn't change the view from a distance, just up close.