UniStar asks NRC to review denial of nuclear power plant

UniStar Nuclear Operating Services LLC and Calvert Cliffs 3 Nuclear Project LLC has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to review the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board’s (ASLB) decision denying the companies a license to build a third unit at the two-unit, 1,750 MW Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Maryland. Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, a joint venture between Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) and EDF, owns 100 percent of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant.

In August, judges from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s ASLB said the applicants cannot receive a combined license to  build and construct a 1,600 MW Areva EPR at Calvert Cliffs since the applicants are owned by U.S. corporation that is 100 percent owned by a foreign corporation.

“A license cannot be issued in this proceeding until the ownership issue is properly corrected,” the judges wrote in the 29-page decision.

When UniStar originally applied for the COL, Electricite de France (EDF) and Constellation Energy Group were 50/50 partners in UniStar and the Calvert Cliffs 3 project. In November 2010, Constellation sold its 50 percent interest in UniStar to EDF, making EDF the sole owner of UniStar. EDF had 60 days to find a U.S. partner before the ASLB considers the proceeding concluded.

“With robust corporate governance controls included in negation actions plans and continuing NRC oversight, indirect foreign ownership of, or other foreign investment in, a U.S. licensee will not threaten the safety or security of U.S. nuclear plants. Investment in the licensing, financing, construction, and operation of new nuclear power projects is also patently in the national interest. Whether foreign or domestic, infrastructure investment will promote American jobs as well as domestic energy development,” UniStar and wrote in its Sept. 24 filing with the NRC.

The two companies said completing the project would result in a long-term source of low-carbon energy.

“By promoting jobs and clean energy, this investment in a new nuclear power project, whether foreign or domestic, is in the national interest,” the filing stated.

To read the filing, click here.

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