Jackson, Miss. – Entergy and NuStart
Energy Development today announced the submittal of a combined construction and
operating license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a
potential new nuclear unit in Port Gibson, Miss.
The application seeks regulatory
approvals to potentially build a new unit adjacent to Entergy’s existing Grand
Gulf Nuclear Station, a reactor that ranks third among the nation’s 104 nuclear
plants for total electricity output over its lifetime of commercial operations.
With energy demands rising across the
nation, many energy companies are pursuing clean, safe nuclear options through
the NuStart consortium and other avenues. The U.S. Department of Energy states
250 to 500 new baseload power plants – those designed to help meet basic
electrical needs – will be needed across the country by 2030.
Although Entergy has made no decision
to build a nuclear reactor at this time, seeking NRC approval and a license
today will preserve the nuclear option for the future.
“The licensing and construction
process for a nuclear reactor will take several years to complete, so
strategically securing a license now will better position Entergy to build,
should conditions prove favorable,” said Paul Hinnenkamp, Entergy’s vice
president of nuclear business development. “Although Entergy may elect not to
immediately exercise the option to build once a license is received, the license
itself is a tangible resource that could be employed at a later time.”
Entergy submitted the application
with NuStart, a power company consortium created in 2004 to demonstrate the
regulatory process for licensing new nuclear units and to complete the design
engineering for selected reactor technologies. NuStart announced Sept. 22, 2005,
that it had selected Grand Gulf as one of two plant sites for which it intended
to submit combined construction and operating license applications.
Entergy also has announced plans to
submit an application for a combined construction and operating license for the
River Bend site in St. Francisville, La., later this year.
A decision to build a nuclear plant
at either location will be based on a number of factors, including an assessment
of customers’ need for additional power, the estimated cost of the advanced
nuclear energy plant, the projected future cost of power from the plant compared
to the projected cost of other fuel choices such as coal or natural gas, and
both federal and state regulatory certainty. State regulators will be involved
as Entergy moves forward in its decision process regarding potentially building
Entergy Nuclear’s work on the
construction and operating license application was part of the U.S. Department
of Energy’s Nuclear Power 2010 program. NP 2010 is a joint government and
industry cost-shared effort to identify sites for new nuclear power plants,
develop and bring to market advanced nuclear plant technologies, evaluate the
business case for building nuclear power plants and demonstrate the untested
regulatory processes. The DOE chose NuStart in 2005 as a Nuclear Power 2010
award recipient to develop applications that will demonstrate the licensing
Nuclear energy offers many benefits
to customers, national government and the general society. Nuclear plants are
reliable sources of affordable electricity, emitting no greenhouse gases that
contribute to global warming. In addition, energy from diverse sources
strengthens the country’s security and energy independence.
Today, a single reactor at Grand Gulf
contributes more than one-fifth of all electricity generated in Mississippi.
The Grand Gulf license application
uses the GE Hitachi ESBWR technology, a design referenced late last year in a
similar license application submitted by Dominion Virginia Power. NuStart worked
with Dominion to help develop that reference application. The ESBWR design is
one of two designs to utilize enhanced safety system designs submitted to the
NRC for certification.
The regulatory process for a
construction and operating license involves a comprehensive review that is
expected to require 36 to 42 months for completion. The actual review schedule
will be determined only after the NRC completes its acceptance review of the
Grand Gulf application.
“Entergy’s full license application
covers well more than 13,000 pages of detailed information, a body of work that
benefits a new generation of energy independence,” said Marilyn Kray, president
of NuStart Energy Development, whose 10 member utilities provide more than 60
percent of the electricity generated by nuclear power in the United States.
“We recognize the significant work
load NRC has before it as this and other applications are submitted,” Kray
added. “Through NuStart, the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Power 2010
initiative, and the use of design-centered work groups, the industry is
achieving real results in developing standardized designs and quality
applications. This helps enable the NRC to conduct efficient and thorough
reviews and can give the nation new, safe, reliable and emission-free power
Design-centered work groups focus the industry’s engineering and technical
expertise on a specific reactor design to achieve a high level of quality in the
application and help ensure technical requirements are clearly understood and
Members of NuStart Energy consortium
are: DTE Energy, Detroit; Duke Energy, Charlotte, N.C.; EDF International North
America, Washington, D.C.; Entergy Nuclear, Jackson, Miss.; Exelon Generation,
Philadelphia; Florida Power & Light Company, Juno Beach, Fla.; Progress Energy,
Raleigh, N.C.; South Carolina Electric & Gas, Columbia, S.C.; Southern Company,
Atlanta; Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tenn.; GE Hitachi Nuclear
Energy, Wilmington, N.C.; and Westinghouse Electric Co., Pittsburgh.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated
energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail
distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with
approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the
second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy has approximately
14,300 employees and delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in
Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Entergy Nuclear’s online address is