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A Collaborative Strategy for ESBWR COLs

Last Friday’s Platts Nuclear News Flashes (subscription required) reported that
Three future ESBWR COL applicants are working closely to produce a standard license application.
The news came from a July 14 meeting between NRC staff and representatives of Entergy, Dominion, General Electric, and NuStart that have formed an ESBWR "design-centered working group." The goal is to develop a uniform combined construction permit-operating license (COL) application. Working together, the companies plan to submit the applications for Dominion’s North Anna and Entergy’s Grand Gulf stations in November 2007 with Entergy’s River Bend application following in May 2008.

Gene Grecheck, Dominion’s Vice-President of Nuclear Support Services, told me that the plants will be as alike as any three plants can be and that the COL applications will be 90% identical with site-specific information clearly identified. He expects this strategy to significantly reduce the time required for NRC review and approval.

I applaud this collaborative approach. It moves the U.S. closer to a standardized fleet like that which so benefits France, it leverages the expertise of two excellent nuclear operating companies, and it takes us that much closer to bringing a new nuclear power plant online.

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