Nine New Reactor Applications Before NRC; 10 More Expected This Year

The expected 2008 surge in license applications for new commercial nuclear power reactors in the United States is taking place, with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's announcedment that it has accepted for review Entergy's combined license application for a new reactor at the Grand Gulf site near Port Gibson, Miss. This is the seventh request accepted for review, two more are pending for acceptance, and NRC said it expects 10 more by the end of this year.

"The NRC staff has concluded Entergy's submittal meets our requirements for a full review, and we have started their environmental and safety analyses," said Bill Borchardt, director of the NRC's Office of New Reactors. "We expect this work, as well as a hearing on the application, to continue through mid-2011." The application (minus proprietary or security-related details) is available at www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-licensing/col/grand-gulf.html. It seeks approval to build and operate a 1,500 MWe Economic and Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) at the site, which is about 25 miles south of Vicksburg.

NRC is reviewing the ESBWR design for possible certification; visit www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-licensing/design-cert/esbwr.html for information about the review.

The other six applications are for reactors at the Lee site in South Carolina; the South Texas Project site in Texas; the Bellefonte site in Alabama; the North Anna site in Virginia; the Calvert Cliffs site in Maryland; and the Shearon Harris site in North Carolina. NRC is also working on applications for the Vogtle site in Georgia and the Summer site in South Carolina. NRC staff has scheduled two meetings for April 24 to discuss recent assessments of safety performance at the Vogtle plant and at the Byron Nuclear Power Plant in Byron, Ill.

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