Calvert Cliffs 3 COL withdrawn

21 July 2015

Unistar Nuclear Energy's withdrawal of its combined construction and operation licence (COL) application for Calvert Cliffs unit 3 has been formally accepted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The EDF-owned company notified the NRC on 8 June that it wished to withdraw the COL application for the proposed US EPR reactor. The regulator had already suspended its review of the COL application at Unistar's request, after Areva Inc requested an indefinite suspension of the US EPR's design certification.

The withdrawal of the COL application, effective 17 July, was confirmed with the publication of a notice by NRC in the US Federal Register.

Unistar submitted the COL application for Calvert Cliffs 3 in Maryland in July 2007, but the application review had been on partial hold since 2010 when co-owner Constellation Energy withdrew from Unistar. Constellation's withdrawal left the company wholly owned by EDF of France, and US regulations prohibit wholly foreign-owned companies from obtaining operating licences for US nuclear plants.

The US EPR is based on the EPR pressurized water reactor currently under construction in China, France and Finland and planned for construction at Hinkley Point C in the UK. Areva Inc formally requested the suspension of the NRC's review of the US EPR reactor design in February, as French parent company Areva embarked on a three-year financing plan to achieve savings of around €1 billion ($1.1 billion). The design had been earmarked for construction at several US sites, but all COL applications referencing it have now been withdrawn or are suspended.

In May the NRC announced that it would revise how it assesses foreign ownership of US nuclear facilities, and will develop a graded approach to deal with licence applications from nuclear energy suppliers that include overseas entities in their ownership.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News