NRG affiliate still seeks license for new South Texas nuclear units

NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) will hold a hearing Oct. 16 in Houston concerning a challenge to the combined Construction and Operating License (COL) application for two new reactors at the South Texas Project (STP) site near Bay City, Texas.

This hearing involves Nuclear Innovation North America, or NINA’s, application to build two Advanced Boiling-Water Reactors at the South Texas Project site. The hearing will examine whether the applicant’s planned corporate governing structure and financing comply with the NRC’s rules prohibiting foreign ownership, control and domination.

ASLB has also recently considered similar issues at Constellation Nuclear Energy Group‘s Calvert Cliffs 3 project in Maryland.

In April 2011, weeks after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) said it was writing down its investment for STP Units 3 and 4 but would continue to pursue the NRC license through its nuclear development affiliate NINA.

“While we are not investing additional capital in the project, permitting continues,” an NRG spokesperson told GenerationHub Sept. 16.  “Toshiba [a partner in NINA] is loaning Nuclear Innovation North America the funds to continue the permitting process. Consequently, the equity percentage remains unchanged with NRG owning approximately 90% of NINA and Toshiba owning approximately 10%,” the NRG Energy spokesperson said.

While participation in the hearing will be limited to the parties and their lawyers and witnesses, the board will also take written comments from interested members of the public, known as limited appearance statements. Such statements may be submitted until 5 p.m. EDT on Oct. 9.

The ASLB is the independent body within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that conducts adjudicatory hearings and renders decisions on legal challenges to licensing actions.

The proposed reactor would be built alongside existing STP units 1 and 2, which have a combined generating capacity of 2,700 MW. The existing two units are owned by NRG Energy (44%); CPS Energy (40%); and Austin Energy (16%).

 

 

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.