U.S. Department of Energy Announces First Awards under Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program

LCG, October 16, 2020--The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) this week announced it has selected two U.S.-based teams to receive $160 million in initial funding under the new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP).

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PSEG Files Application to Extend Zero Emission Certificates (ZECs) for New Jersey's Carbon-Free Nuclear Power Facilities

LCG, October 2, 2020--PSEG yesterday filed applications to extend Zero Emission Certificates (ZECs) for the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in Salem County in order to preserve New Jersey's largest carbon-free source of electricity and to help New Jersey achieve its clean energy goal of 100 percent carbon-free energy supply by 2050.

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Industry News

Growing Competition for New Nuclear Reactor Designs

LCG, September 16, 2005--Constellation Energy and AREVA Inc. announced yesterday that they formed a joint venture, UniStar Nuclear, to develop and sell new nuclear power plants in the United States. The plants will be based upon AREVA's 1,600-MW European pressurized water reactor (EPR) that is currently being deployed in Europe. Bechtel Power Corporation will support the venture with its expertise as an architect-engineer and constructor.

Unistar Nuclear will provide the platform to develop joint ventures, and AREVA will be the prime contractor, providing the nuclear reactor and all support systems, instrumentation and control system and initial load of nuclear fuel. Constellation Energy, through new joint ventures, would license, construct, own and operate the new nuclear power plants based upon AREVA's EPR design.

The EPR design is used in one reactor currently under construction in Finland and is used in another reactor to be built in France. The companies stated that over 200 engineers are now working in support of obtaining a design certification for the U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor (US EPR) as a standard plant from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The companies expect that new plants will be ready to begin production in 2015.

The announcement of the new venture adds to the growing competition associated with the development of new nuclear reactors. On August 31, GE Energy submitted its Design Certification application to the NRC for its economic simplified boiling water reactor (ESBWR). GE anticipates the Final Design Approval toward the end of 2006 and that it will receive Design Certification immediately thereafter. The ESBWR is a 1,500-MW design that incorporates passive safety features that rely upon natural forces, such as gravity, in order to reduce reliance on active, mechanical systems, like pumps and valves.

Another primary reactor design for consideration in the United States is offered by Westinghouse Electric. A year ago, the NRC granted a Final Design Approval to Westinghouse for its AP1000 advanced reactor design.

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