Friday, October 31, 2008

Center Participates in Nuclear Regulatory Commission Meeting

Center President Norris McDonald participated in the Oct 30 meeting between the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and companies applying for new licenses (called 'Combined Operating Licenses) to build nuclear power plants. The companies include Ameren, Constellation, French firms Areva and Electricity de France. Those companies, excluding Ameren, comprise a consortium called 'Unistar.' Other members include Bechtel, Alstrom and Accenture. The all day meeting was held at NRC's Rockville, Maryland headquarters.

The NRC gave a presentation on the European Pressurized Reactor (also called Evolutionary Power Reactor) and the Combined Operating License Review Status for the following proposed plant site locations: Nine Mile Point (NY), Bell Bend (PA), Callaway (MO) and Calvert Cliffs (MD). McDonald has visited each site except for Bell Bend. Unistar provided a detailed powerpoint presentation and handout for the meeting.

McDonald asked about the status of the ownership of the Constellation Energy Group. Although it has been publicly announced that Warren Buffet's company is purchasing Constellation, France's Electricite de France/Areva are challenging the purchase along with Constellation stockholders because of their higher bid for the company. He also asked about the implications of possibly having to build cooling towers under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act. The Center is supporting the purchase by the French firm because we are more confident in their motivation to build.

[Photo: Norris McDonald at NRC Headquarters at left and Callaway nuclear power plant west of St. Louis, Missouri at right]

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