Friday, May 06, 2005

GE Energy Inks Deal With NuStart Consortium

Just off the wire:

GE Energy has signed an agreement with NuStart Energy Development LLC, under which GE will design and seek an NRC license for its next-generation ESBWR (Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor) for one of two proposed projects to be sited at existing U.S. nuclear power plants.

NuStart, a U.S. nuclear industry consortium comprised of nine leading utilities and two nuclear suppliers, is one of several industry groups working with the U.S. Department of Energy to test the NRC's streamlined process to obtain the joint construction and operating license (COL) required for the construction of a new nuclear reactor.

If the two NuStart nuclear projects are approved, the units would be among the first ordered in the United States since the early 1970s.

Previously, Duke Energy announced that it was considering a GE design as well.

UPDATE: Here's a related announcement from NuStart:

NuStart Energy Development LLC, the consortium of nine nuclear power companies operating 58 percent of the nation's nuclear power plants and two reactor vendors, has signed a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to demonstrate the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing process and to complete the designs for the first advanced nuclear power reactors in the U.S. in 30 years.

"America needs nuclear power because it is safe, clean and domestic energy. This Agreement is the next step on the road to a new generation of nuclear energy plants," said Marilyn Kray, president of NuStart and a vice president of Exelon.

The agreement authorizes the NuStart consortium to participate in a 50-50 cost sharing program with the government to complete the detailed engineering work for two advanced reactor technologies -- the Westinghouse Advanced Passive 1000 Reactor and the General Electric Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor.

NuStart will select two potential nuclear plant sites by October of this year, one for each design.

You know it's going to be a good day when news like this drops on your doorstep in the morning.

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