New nuclear reactors at STP hit a regulatory snag

NRG Energy Toshiba American Nuclear Energy South Texas Project NRC denied license Atomic Energy Act UniStar EDF Constellation Calvert Cliffs nuclear reactors units power plant Maryland

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said that Nuclear Innovation North America (NINA), a joint venture between NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) and Toshiba American Nuclear Energy (TANE), does not meet foreign ownership requirements to build two nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project, according to a release from public relations firm The Hastings Group.

The Atomic Energy Act does not allow foreign ownership, control or domination of a U.S. nuclear reactor. NRG Energy scaled back its involvement in the project in April 2011, saying that it would write down $481 million of its investment in units 3 and 4. TANE is a subsidiary of Japan-based Toshiba.

However, an official with NRG said in the Dallas Morning News that the company still owns 90 percent of NINA, even though Toshiba has wholly funded the licensing process since NRG stopped funding the project.

The NRC denied a license to UniStar Nuclear, a company initially formed by Electricite de France and Constellation, in March 2013 to build Unit 3 at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Maryland. Constellation sold its 50 percent ownership of UniStar to EDF in November 2010, making the French company the sole owner of UniStar and ineligible to build the new reactor.

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