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African American Environmentalist Association

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Norris McDonald at Yucca Mountain in 2005

 

 

Environmental Justice & Nuclear Power Videos 2007

Environmental Justice & Nuclear Power Videos 2008

 

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

African American Association Association (AAEA) President Norris McDonald toured the San Onofre nuclear power plant on July 6, 2005. 

San Onofre is a beautiful facility located north of San Diego on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. 

Units 2 and 3 provide enough power for approximately 2 million homes. 

No smog forming or greenhouse gases are emitted from the plant.

San Onofre uses Pacific Ocean water to cool process steam from the generating station. 

The decommissioning of Unit 1 was also interesting. 

San Onofre was at its location before Highway 5 was built right behind the facility. 

McDonald is pictured with Ray Golden, Communications Manager, Nuclear Communications.

Mr. Golden is no longer with the company and has been replaced by Gil Alexander.

San Onofre is owned and operated by Southern California Edison. 

 

Clinton, Illinois Plant

AAEA has participated in the three Early Site Permit (ESP) hearings sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The Center also attended the Combined Operating License (COL) meeting between Duke Power and NRC. Descriptions of these activities are below.

Exelon Wants To Build New Nuclear Plants

Exelon is the nation's largest nuclear operator, with 17 reactors in Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Exelon, corporate parent of Commonwealth Edison, is in the earliest stages of seeking regulatory approval for the new reactor in Clinton, where an older nuclear plant has operated since 1987.  Antinuclear activists are trying to block construction of a new nuclear plant in Clinton, Ill., about 20 miles south of Bloomington. 

The March 9, 2005 preliminary recommendation of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the draft environmental impact statement on Exelon General Company's Early Site Permit request to build a new nuclear generating facility in Clinton, Illinois found no environmental reasons to prevent construction. .The NRC will make a decision on the Early Site Permit application in August. 2006. The Center believes this process takes far too long (Exelon applied for the permit in 2003). Public comments on the action can be sumitted to ClintonEIS@nrc.gov

AAEA and NA-YGN Travel To Clinton, Illinois To Support Exelon ESP At NRC Hearing. AAEA President Norris McDonald and his son Sandy McDonald, along with representatives of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN): (photo right to left) Delbert Horn, Kelly Taylor, and Michael Stuart traveled by car from Virginia to Clinton in DeWitt County, Illinois to rally in favor of an Early Site Permit for Exelon's proposal to build a new nuclear power plant next to its current facility.  They were joined by dozens of other NA-YGN members and almost 200 supporters from the local community. Kelly Taylor is also a member of AAEA. The hearing was held on April 19, 2005.

AAEA/NA-YGN contingent toured the Clinton Power Station.  It is a Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) and the Radiological Control Area (RCA) includes the turbine building.  After being issued dosimetry, they took a tour of the station, including a view of the fuel building, turbine building, and inside the containment dome (at power) where they could see the top of the reactor vessel covered with water. Howard King (pictured below) conducted the tour.

The blue superstructure (pictured at right) around the actual containment provides an additional layer of protection and emission control. The same type of blue superstructure also covers the generation building.

The NRC hearing on the draft environmental impact statement on Exelon General Company's Early Site Permit request was held at Clinton Junior High School. Exelon filed an application on September 25, 2003 for an Early Site Permit, pursuant to Title 10 Code of the Federal Regulations Part 52 (10CFR part 52). Iif approved, the permit will give Exelon up to 20 years to decide whether to build one or more nuclear plants on the site and to file an application with the NRC for approval to begin construction. Approximately 300 people attended the hearing and the majority of them were in favor of Clinton's ESP.  AAEA and NA-YGN distributed 153 "Nuclear YES! Because We Care About the Air" stickers that made it very easy to identify the pro-nuclear people in attendance.  Unfortunately, not everyone who wanted one was able to get one.  Approximately 20 speakers opposed and 24 speakers favored the Clinton's ESP.

Norris McDonald Speaking at NRC Hearing in Clinton, Illinois

NUREG-1815, "Environmental Impact Statement for an Early Site Permit at the Exelon ESP Site: Draft Report for Comment," is available for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852, or from the Publicly Available Records (PARS) component of NRC's Agency wide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), and directly on the NRC web site at www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html (Public Electronic Reading Room). Persons who do not have access to ADAMS, or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, should contact the PDR reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. In addition, the Vespasian Warner Public Library, located at 310 North Quincy Street, Clinton, Illinois 61727, has the DEIS available for public inspection. Written comments on the draft EIS can be provideing in writing or by email by May 25, 2005 and can be sent to:

McDonald, Delbert Horn, Howard King, Michael Stuart, Kelly Taylor in dosimetry area

Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, Mailstop T-6D 59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, WAshington, D.C. 20555-0001 Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to the NRC staff at ClintonEIS@nrc.gov.

Two days after the ESP hearing, the NRC met with representatives of Exelon Generation Company to discuss the agency's assessment of safety performance last year at the Clinton nuclear power plant. Held at the Vespasian Warner Public Library, this meeting provided an opportunity for a discussion of annual assessments of safety performance with the company and with local officials and residents who live near the plant. The meeting is intended to explain the NRC oversight process and to make as much information as possible available to the public regarding NRC regulation of the facility. The NRC's assessment concluded that the Clinton plant operated safely during the period. The NRC uses color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators to assess nuclear plant performance. The colors start with "green" and then increase to "white," "yellow" or "red," commensurate with the safety significance of the issues involved. All of the inspection findings and performance indicators for Clinton during 2004 were determined to be "green." As a result of this performance, the NRC will conduct the normal, baseline level of inspections during the upcoming year. Information on the performance of the plant is available at: www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/LETTERS/clin_2004q4.pdf & www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/CLIN/CLIN_CHART.html.

(Right Picture) Chief Nuclear Officer Chris Crane (left) and Exelon Generation President John Young (right) welcomee U.S. Senator Barack Obama.

Senator Barack Obama. Although the senator has not directly expressed a

There are 11 nuclear power plants in Illinois that provide almost 50% of the state's power). President Obama has visited Exelon's Braidwood nuclear power station. The Center encourages Senator Obama to support nuclear power for his state and the nation. Although it might not be the politically correct thing to do, it is logical and practical to promote emission free production of electricity in the United States.

(Left Picture - from left) Chief Nuclear Officer Chris Crane explains control room operations to Exelon Director of Special Projects Rita Stols, Senator Obama staff members Mike Signator and David Katz, U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Exelon Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff of Frank Clark.)

On Tuesday, January 11, 2005 Braidwood Station welcomed U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.). During the visit, the Senator met with senior company leadership, and toured portions of the facility including the control room. In addition, Sen. Obama received a briefing on the safety, security and future of nuclear power from President of Exelon Generation John Young and Chief Nuclear Officer Chris Crane.

Statement of Senator Barack Obama

Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, and Nuclar Safety

Oversight on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

May 26, 2005

406 Dirksen, 9:00A.M.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing.

As electricity demand throughout the nation increases in the coming decades, we will be challenged in how best to meet these consumption demands without sacrificing the environment. That means creating jobs, protecting water and air quality, establishing energy independence, and using all of our energy resources fully and wisely.

I strongly support greater energy conservation and greater federal investment in renewable technologies such as wind and solar, which ought to receive greater attention in our national energy policy than they likely will this year.

However, as Congress considers policies to address air quality and the deleterious effects of carbon emissions on the global ecosystem, it is reasonable – and realistic – for nuclear power to remain on the table for consideration. Illinois has 11 nuclear power plants – the most of any State in the country – and nuclear power provides more than half of Illinois’ electricity needs.

But keeping nuclear power on the table – and indeed planning for the construction of new plants – is only possible if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is vigilant in its mission. We need better long-term strategies for storing and securing nuclear waste and for ensuring the safe operation of nuclear power plants. How we develop these strategies is a major priority for me.

I look forward to hearing the testimony of the witnesses, and I thank the Chair for holding this hearing.

They drove 13 hours in a van from Virginia to Clinton, Illinois and then drove 13 hours back to Virginia.

Michael Stuart, Delbert Horn, Sandy & NorrisMcDonald, Kelly Taylor

 

North Anna

AAEA has participated in the three Early Site Permit (ESP) hearings sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The Center also attended the Combined Operating License (COL) meeting between Duke Power and NRC. Descriptions of these activities are below.

Dominion Resources Wants to Build A New Nuclear Plant

NRC Hearing For New Plant at North Anna Power Station

February 17, 2005 -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held a hearing on the draft environmental impact statement for Dominion's early site permit to build a new nuclear power plant or plants at its current facility. The hearing was in Mineral, Virginia. Dominion Resources Inc., a utility based in Richmond, Va, applied for an early site permit, which would provide the company an option to consider new nuclear generation among other generating options in the future at North Anna Power Station, in September 2003.

AAEA attended the hearing and made a brief statement.

AAEA supports building two new nuclear power plants at the Dominion site.

At the meeting, the NRC explained the results of its draft environmental impact statement and accepted comments from the floor. The NRC, in announcing the public meeting late last year, stated it had reached a preliminary conclusion that the environmental impacts would not prevent issuing an early site permit for North Anna. If the permit is approved, the company would have up to 20 years to decide whether to build one or more nuclear reactors there.  The NRC will issue a final environmental impact statement after the public comment period, which ends March 1, 2005.

McDonald at North Anna nuclear power plant

 

New Nuclear Power Plants

Grand Gulf

Entergy Wants To Build New Nuclear Plants

Grand Gulf nuclear power plant

African American Community Supports Plan

AAEA has participated in NRC meetings on the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station Unit 3 on three occassions: June 2005, February 2008 and June 2008.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held two public environmental scoping meetings at the Port Gibson City Hall in Port Gibson, Mississippi on June 19, 2008. The meetings are part of NRC's review of an application submitted by Entergy Operations Inc (EOI) for a combined license (COL) for construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant at it Grand Gulf Nuclear Station (GGNS) site in Claiborne County, Mississippi. The first meeting was held at 1 p.m. and the second meeting was held at 7 p.m. The NRC presented an overview of the COL environmental review process and described how the process will be implemented for the review of the GGNS COL application. AAEA participated in the meetings (see videos below).

The proposed new reactor, designated GGNS Unit 3, would be located within a 2,100 acre site, situated approximately 6 miles northwest of Port Gibson, Mississippi. EOI currently operates one reactor, GGNS Unit 1 on the site and plans to construct Unit 3 adjacent to the existing reactor. Plans for a unit 2 never happened, but to avoid confusion, the proposed unit is being designated Unit 3. The construction site cleared for GGNS Unit 3 covrs approximately 234 acres within EOI's 2,100 acre site.

Videos June 19, 2008 Meeting

EOI submitted the application for the COL by letter dated February 27, 2008. The application was accepted for docketing on April 24, 2008. The application is liste under NRC's Agencywide Documents Access Management System (ADAMS)under accession number ML080640433. The EOI COL application is also available on the Internet.

In addition, roughly 30 NRC staffers visited Mississippi to gather data at Grand Gulf on June 16 and met with the New Plant organization June 17 through June 18.

The NRC cannot issue a combined license for Grand Gulf Unit 3 without first certifying that the Economic Simplified Bowling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design, which is currently under review, meets NRC regulations.

The African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA) presented testimoney at the June 29, 2005 Early Site Permit (ESP) hearing in Port Gibson, Mississippi. AAEA has participated in four other ESP hearings (Grand Gulf, North Anna, Clinton, Illinois, Calvert Cliffs) sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). AAEA also attended the Combined Operating License (COL) meeting for Duke Power at NRC headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. Descriptions of these activities are below.

June 28, 2005

Feb 21, 2008

Feb 21, 2008

The NRC has issued its final environmental impact statement on the proposed early site permit (ESP) for the Grand Gulf site in Mississippi. The NRC found no environmental impacts that would prevent issuing an ESP for the site.

 

 

Allen Burks, N. McDonald George Williams, D.Bigby

Mayor Arnold & Norris McDonald

Entergy Corp. of New Orleans is looking at building a nuclear plant near Port Gibson, Mississippi. The NRC DEIS hearing was held on June28, 2005. The Center presented testimony at the hearing. The City of Port Gibson and surrounding Claiborne County in Mississippi voted unanimously on December 2004 to urge the Entergy Corporation, which already operates one reactor here, to build a second. Amelda J. Arnold, the city's mayor, city aldermen, County Board of Supervisors and County NAACP all support a new plant. This support is the exact opposite of that in New York, where town and county governments are trying to close two Entergy reactors at

Indian Point in Westchester County. Predominantly white (71%) Westchester County in New York opposes their plant while predominantly black (85%) Clairborne County in Mississippi supports their plant. Both nuclear power plants are owned by Entergy.

Norris McDonald Testifying at NRC Hearing

Allen Burks, Norris McDonald & Derry Bigby at Control Room

Norris & Sandy McDonald, Derry Bigby

AAEA staff members Derry Bigby and Joe Downey accompanied AAEA president Norris McDonald to Port Gibson, Mississippi to scope the area and participate in the NRC ESP hearing. Bigby and McDonald toured the Grand Gulf nuclear power plant and met with company officials. They also met with County Administrator James E. Miller and Jim Johnson, Community Development & Outreach Director for the Board of Supervisors.

AAEA President Norris McDonald also appeared on WLBT-Channel 3 television in Jackson, Mississippi with E. James Reinsch, Senior Vice President, President, Bechtel Nuclear.

Exelon and Entergy are part of a multicompany consortium, called NuStart Energy, that is seeking to prepare a license application for a plant. 

The unemployment rate is in the double digits in Claibourne County and a new plant would bring jobs to the county. Currently, at least 100 local residents are among the company's more than 700 employees, and Entergy pays about $680,000 a year in city taxes, more than a third of the budget.

Early in the process, antinuclear groups tried to argue that building another reactor in Claiborne County, which is about 85 percent African-American, was an example of "environmental racism," putting undesirable facilities in poor, minority towns. But the mayor, the county supervisor and the NAACP, all African-American, rejected that idea. The NRC also rejected the environmental justice challenge.

 

 

Pro-Nuclear Rally on Steps of Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi

Pro-Nuclear Activists at NRC Hearing

Port Gibson, Mississippi Mayor Amelda Arnold and Center President Norris McDonald

Spoke at the Pro-Nuclear Rally on the State Capitol Steps

 

James FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

Written Statement

In connection with the Entergy Nuclear Fitzpatrick LLC (Fitzpatrick) Application for a New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Water Quality Certification (“WQC”), the African American Environmentalist Association-New York (“AAEA-NY”) submitted comments in support of granting a WQC based on environmental justice considerations.

The draft denial of the WQC may lead to the closure of the facility if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) denies a license renewal based on the denial of a WQC. Any substantial reduction in the amount of electricity generated by Fitzpatrick will spark demand for replacement electricity from power plants in other parts of the state. Unfortunately, these plants are, for the most part, pollution-emitting fossil-fuel plants.

In New York City fossil plants and other pollution sources are largely located in low-income and minority communities. As production at these fossil-fuel plants increases, the air quality in and around these plants will further deteriorate, causing a spike in the incidences of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in these vulnerable communities. The denial of the WQC, to the extent that it leads to fossil fuel replacement of Fitzpatrick, effectively places the interests of Lake Ontario fish eggs and larva over the health of New York’s low-income and minority communities.

James FitzPatrick nuclear power plant

Containment Dome on left and Generating Station on right

AAEA presented a statement at a public hearing before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on July 15, 2008 in Scriba, New York that was helpful in getting approval in July of the license renewal for the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit and Water Quality Certification (WQC). The meeting was an opportunity for members of the public to state their views on the station’s renewed SPDES permit and WQC. FitzPatrick expects its 20-year license renewal from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) soon, extending the station’s current 40-year license to 2034. AAEA is proud to have played a small part in the license renewals for this facility that will help in reducing global warming.

Concurrently, the New York Department of State Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) issued its consistency determination for the renewed NRC license. The WQC and CZMA determination reflect New York State’s acknowledgement of the important role of the FitzPatrick plant to the New York power supply and the absence of adverse aquatic impacts associated with its operations. AAEA President Norris McDonald is pictured above at the plant.

Video of Oral Statement

 

Duke Power

The African American Environmentalist Association has participated in the three Early Site Permit (ESP) hearings sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). AAEA also attended the Combined Operating License (COL) meeting between Duke Power and NRC. Descriptions of these activities are below.

NRC Public Meeting For New Plant(s) at Duke Power

March 14, 2005 -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held a public meeting to discuss Duke’s possible application for a Combined License (COL) to build a nuclear power plant. The meeting was held at NRC Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. The meeting includee discussion of possible COL application strategies and review schedules, as well as how the agency and Duke would interact during the pre-application stage.

The NRC amended its licensing regulations in 1989, creating the COL to provide an alternative to the existing process. When the nation’s current 104 licensed reactors were built, an applicant had to first obtain a construction permit. Following completion of construction and testing, the applicant then had to obtain an operating license before a plant could start up. A Combined License authorizes both construction and conditional operation of a nuclear power plant. The COL process incorporates inspections, tests, analyses and acceptance criteria into the construction phase to provide information necessary to demonstrate that the reactor could operate safely once construction is complete.

Duke plans to prepare a COL application that includes plant siting. Duke is in the initial stages of work on site selection and reactor technology selection, and anticipates making both of these selection decisions by December 2005.

McDonald at McGuire nuclear plant (Charlotte, NC)

With respect to reactor technology, Duke is presently considering three technologies:

  1. General Electric's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR)
  2. Framatome ANP's Eveolutionary Pressurized Reactor (EPR) and
  3. Westinghouse's Advanced Passive Pressurized Water Reactor (AP1000)

Duke plans to provide the NRC with its detailed plans and schedule for pre-COL and COL activities by July 2005. Duke's tentative schedule for submitting the COL application is early 2008.

McDonald at Catawba nuclear power plant in S.C.

AAEA staff Norris McDonald and Derry Bigby attended the meeting. We provided input and questions to the NRC and Duke during the public comment period at the end of the meeting.

 

Energy Policy Act of 2005

National Energy Policy

AAEA President Norris McDonald was invited by the White House to attend the August 8, 2005 signing of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The signing ceremony was held in the Steve Schiff Auditorium in the Technology Transfer Center at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. White House guests were picked up by buses at Kirtland Air Force Base and taken to the historic event at Sandia.

President George W. Bush holds the box (above) containing the energy bill after signing H.R. 6, The Energy Policy Act of 2005. Also on stage from left are Congressman Ralph Hall (R, TX), Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).

White House Photo by Eric Draper

 

Above: President Bush delivers speech on the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with Norris McDonald in foreground at Sandia National Laboratories.

Energy Policy Act of 2005

Below: Norris McDonald and Senator Pete Domenici at the ceremony

 

President Bush Signs the Energy Policy Act of 2005

 

Consortia

The African American Environmentalist Association has participated in the three Early Site Permit (ESP) hearings sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). AAEA also attended the Combined Operating License (COL) meeting between Duke Power and NRC. Descriptions of these activities are below.

Consortia Want To Build New Nuclear Plants

Seven companies have announced they will file a joint license application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build a new nuclear power plant: Chicago-based Exelon, Entergy Nuclear, a unit of New Orleans-based Entergy; Baltimore-based Constellation Energy; Atlanta-based Southern Co.; EDF International North America; and two reactor vendors, General Electric and Westinghouse Electric.  It has been 30 years since an application has been filed to build a plant that later went into operation. Other applications were received after 1974, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but were withdrawn or the plants never began operating.  Utilities are considering building or restarting up to eight reactors in Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, and Idaho, as well as in Illinois.  One of the sites being looked at is the Savannah River nuclear site in South Carolina.  Another potential site is the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory near Idaho Falls. The Energy Department controls both properties.

The companies have not committed to building a new plant but aim to test the NRC's streamlined licensing process, implemented in 1992. The companies hope to file the application in 2008 and get an NRC decision in 2010. They say their actions follow a Department of Energy initiative last fall to develop nuclear power plants.  Nustart has already won a commitment of $260 million from the Energy Department to complete plant design. The original request was for $400 million.

Under another consortium, NuStart Energy Development applied for a smaller grant to study building an advanced reactor on the site of a twin-reactor project abandoned in 1988 as too expensive. NuStart includes the Tennessee Valley Authority, Duke Power,  Exelon Nuclear, a unit of the Exelon Corporation; Entergy Nuclear, a unit of the Entergy Corporation; Constellation Energy; Southern CompanyEDF International North America, a subsidiary of Électricité de France, which owns shares in reactors in the United States, General Electric and the Westinghouse Electric Company, a subsidiary of BNFL, which was formerly British Nuclear Fuels Limited. NuStart is applying for a dollar-for-dollar match, under a program called Nuclear Power 2010, whose goal is to have at least one reactor under construction by that year. It has not picked a site or a design, or even committed to build anything.

A different group asked for help with a $4 million under Nuclear Power 2010 to explore building a nuclear reactor in northern Alabama at the site of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Bellefont project. The T.V.A. stopped work on a twin-unit nuclear plant at Bellefonte in 1988, after spending $2.5 billion. This consortium consists of T.V.A. and General Electric (which are both members of the NuStart group as well); Bechtel, Toshiba; and USEC, a company that processes uranium for nuclear reactor use. 

Another consortium made up of Dominion Resources Inc., Hitachi America, Bechtel and an American subsidiary of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd are also asking for financing.

Nuclear Power Consortium NuStart Energy Selects 6 Finalists and Will Select Two to Apply for Licenses to Build and Operate Nuclear Power Plants in October 2005.

Four of the six already house operating nuclear power plants. The sites, by location, are:

  • Scottsboro, Ala. The Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, an unfinished site owned by the U.S. government's Tennessee Valley Authority.
  • Port Gibson, Miss. The Grand Gulf Nuclear Station, owned by Entergy.
  • St. Francisville, La. The River Bend Station, owned by Entergy.
  • Aiken, S.C. The Savannah River Site, a U.S. Department of Energy nuclear weapons lab.
  • Lusby, Md. The Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant, owned by Constellation Energy.
  • Oswego, N.Y. The Nine Mile Point plant, owned by Constellation Energy.

All six sites chosen by NuStart are owned either by a consortium member or by the Department of Energy. The consortium will evaluate the sites on 75 factors including seismic activity, availability of water and emergency preparedness issues.

The NuStart consortium consists of nine utilities, including Exelon, Entergy, and Duke Energy, as well as nuclear reactor manufacturers GE Energy, a unit of General Electric, and Westinghouse Electric Co., a unit of BNFL.

Under the Department of Energy’s Nuclear 2010 program, half of the estimated $520 million cost of the project is being shouldered by the Energy Department and half will be paid by the consortium members.

The consortium expects to apply for licenses in 2008. Construction could then begin in 2010 with completion in 2014, NuStart said.

International Agreement For Next Generation Nuclear Power Systems

The Bush Administration's Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman joined representatives from Canada, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom to sign the first international agreement in history aimed at the development of next generation nuclear power systems.  The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) iresearch agreement will accelerate an international effort to develop Generation IV nuclear energy systems nuclear energy technology that will be safer, more reliable, cost-effective, and more proliferation-resistant than any technology available today.

The GIF partners have identified six next generation technologies for development including:

  1. Gas Cooled Fast Reactor;
  2. Sodium Fast Reactor;
  3. Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor;
  4. Molten Salt Reactor;
  5. Supercritical Water Reactor; and
  6. Very High Temperature Reactor.

The last technology concept forms the basis of the U.S. research program to develop an ultra-safe, economic nuclear system that will be designed to produce electricity and hydrogen with substantially less waste and without emitting air pollutants or greenhouse gases.

The Framework Agreement allows participating countries to go beyond coordination of research and to begin conducting joint research projects all over the world.  This agreement will allow the United States and other GIF member countries to carry out their research and development programs more effectively by leveraging the resources and expertise of the international research community.

The Generation IV International Forum is composed of 11 countries including:

  1. Argentina,
  2. Brazil,
  3. Canada,
  4. European Union,
  5. France,
  6. Japan,
  7. South Africa,
  8. South Korea,
  9. Switzerland,
  10. United Kingdom, and
  11. United States

For more information on this and other DOE nuclear technology initiatives please visit the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology at www.nuclear.gov

(Source: DOE)