In today's edition of the New York Times, a story by Matt Wald compares and contrasts the strategies of two different nuclear power plant owner/operators (Constellation Energy and PPL Corp.), and how they believe nuclear fits into their future generation mix. Here are some excerpts concerning Constellation, the more bullish of the two companies:
Nobody in the United States has started building a nuclear power plant in more than three decades. Mayo Shattuck could be the first.Here at NEI Nuclear Notes, we've been following Constellation's progress very closely. For more, click here. And for a look at the power supply situation in the Baltimore-Washington area that depends on the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, click here.
As the chief executive of Constellation Energy, a utility holding company in Baltimore that already operates five nuclear reactors, Shattuck is convinced that nuclear power is on the verge of a renaissance, ready to provide reliable electricity at a competitive price. He has already taken the first steps toward that goal, moving this month to order critical parts for a new reactor.
Constellation Energy, the Baltimore company, not only wants to build reactors for itself, it has also formed a partnership with a reactor manufacturer to build and operate them for other utilities.
"This organization has a history of feeling that they have done well in nuclear," Shattuck, its chief executive, said.
Constellation says it will apply for a reactor operating license by the end of next year, probably at either Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, where it runs two nuclear reactors that it built in the 1960s and '70s, or at Nine Mile Point, in Scriba, New York, on Lake Ontario, where it operates two reactors it bought in 2001 from Niagara Mohawk Power and other utilities.
Constellation, which doubled its nuclear bet in the 1990s by buying more reactors as the utility industry restructured, believes it has demonstrated one marketable skill - running reactors profitably - and that it could quickly follow a new plant with a copycat, building both on time and on budget.
Constellation proposes a fleet of plants, identical down to the "carpeting and wallpaper," Shattuck said, reducing the design costs on subsequent reactors to near zero.
Operating processes would be identical, and operators could be shuffled among the plants, something that is often impossible today even with adjacent reactors. The company wants partners who would offer either equity or operating skills.
UPDATE: More thoughts from The Oil Drum: New York City.
Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Environment, Energy, Politics, Technology, Economics, Constellation Energy, PPL Corp.