New nuclear license application withdrawn by UniStar

UniStar Nuclear has officially withdrawn its request to construct and operate a new nuclear reactor at the Nine Mile Point station in Oswego County, N.Y.

UniStar informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of its decision Nov. 26. The application was originally filed in the fall of 2008.

UniStar had previously requested that NRC “temporarily suspend” the application for Nine Mile 3. “By this letter, UNE [UniStar Nuclear Energy] hereby withdraws the COL application,” the company said.  

UniStar is owned by Electricite de France, (EDF Group) which is majority owned by the government of France.

UniStar and Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) jointly own the existing two boiling water reactor (BWR) units at Nine Mile Point.

In the past couple of years Baltimore-based Constellation has become part of Chicago-based Exelon (NYSE:EXC), which is the largest nuclear operator in the United States. In July EDF and Exelon announced that the existing Nine Mile Point nuclear station, and two other U.S. nuclear plants under UniStar would be operated as part of the Exelon fleet.

The actual transfer is not expected to occur until the first or second quarter 2014, an Exelon spokesperson said Dec. 12.

Cheap natural gas and changing domestic market dynamics have reduced the prospects for new U.S. nuclear plants lately – especially when a regulated utility is not involved.

In addition, the NRC had ruled that potential UniStar development of a third nuclear unit at Calvert Cliffs would run counter to Atomic Energy Act rules on foreign ownership of power reactors.

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.