Calvert Cliffs reactor gets FEIS

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, said no environmental impacts preclude issuing the combined license for the proposed 1,500 MW Unit 3 at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Maryland.

UniStar applied for a license to build and operate an Areva EPR reactor next to the existing reactor at Calvert Cliffs. The planned EPR is a pressurized-water reactor with an output of 1,500 MW.

The NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board is currently conducting a proceeding on a challenge to the staff’s environmental review. The NRC is also considering whether UniStar meets NRC requirements regarding foreign ownership. These items must be resolved before the NRC can reach a final decision on the combined license application.

The NRC said April 8 that UniStar was ineligible to build the third reactor because it is owned by Electricite de France SA (EDF). Federal law prohibits complete ownership or control of a U.S. nuclear plant by a foreign entity.

In October 2010, Constellation Energy pulled out of negotiations with EDF for a $7.5 billion federal loan guarantee to build the reactor. EDF bought out Constellation’s share in UniStar for $249 million in November. EDF has said it is working to find another partner for the project. On April 28, Constellation and Exelon announced plans to merge.

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