Unistar ineligible to build third nuclear power reactor

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said April 8 that UniStar Nuclear Energy is not eligible to build a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs because it is not a U.S.-owned company. The NRC also said it would continue to process the application. UniStar said it believes it will have a U.S. partner for the proposed project.

In  October 2010 Constellation Energy pulled out of negotiations for a $7.5 billion federal loan guarantee to build a nuclear reactor at the site with its French partner Electricite de France (EDF).

Federal law prohibits complete ownership or control of a U.S. nuclear plant by a foreign entity. UniStar is owned by French energy group EDF.The NRC said a license would not be issued until ownership requirements were met.

"While EDF and UniStar disagree with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's conclusion regarding UniStar's present governance structure, we are pleased that the NRC will continue to review all other aspects of our pending application," an EDF spokesperson said. "This allows the project to continue moving forward as anticipated."

UniStar said it will continue to work with the NRC to resolve the governance issue. The company has not said when it might find a U.S. partner.

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