DCSIMG
Share:
 
February 27, 2008
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Mike Bowling
Entergy
mbowlin@entergy.com
(601) 368-5655
Entergy, NuStart Announce Submittal of Application for New Nuclear License

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 nuclear units.

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 process.

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 generation,”
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 communicated.

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.

-30-
Entergy Nuclear’s online address is www.entergy-nuclear.com.