State approvals sought for new US nuclear

16 November 2007

Unistar Nuclear Energy (UNE) has applied to the American state of Maryland for approval for a third nuclear power reactor at its Calvert Cliffs site. Separately, a Progress Energy executive has said it would likely go ahead with new build following similar approval in Florida.

UNE's application is for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the potential new unit, which would be a 1600 MWe Areva USEPR. Calvert Cliffs already hosts two 865 MWe pressurized water reactors (PWRs). The environmental portion of a combined operating and construction licence (COL) has already been submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the remainder is expected in March 2008.

Michael Wallace, chair of UNE and Executive Vice President of Constellation said the ultimate decision to build Calvert Cliffs 3 would not be made until the economics and financial risks of the project were better known. He said that the undecided factors included the availability of federal loan guarantees, as well as state and local fiscal policies that would affect the tax treatment of the new plant. A statement said that the new unit could add $20 million per year to tax coffers.

Maryland Public Service Commission should make a decision on the application by December 2008.


Florida Public Service Commission is already examining an application from Florida Power and Light for approval to build two new nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point power plant. In the same state, Progress Energy are considering two Westinghouse AP1000 PWRs for a new site in Levy County.

Progress' Executive Vice President and chief financial officer, Peter Scott, told a Bank of America energy conference: "The most important decision we have in front of us here in the short term will be from the commission in Florida. Sometime in early 2008 we'll file the needs case with the commission. It will contain our cost estimate for building the plant. And if they authorize us to proceed it's highly likely that we would actually go forward with building this plant."

Further information

Florida Power & Light
Progress Energy
Unistar Nuclear Energy

WNA's US Nuclear Power Industry information paper

WNN: Plans filed with Florida regulators for new reactors
WNN: NRC: First part of first COL application in