This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 12, 2006

Two New Nuclear Plants Slated for Texas Gulf Coast

NRG Energy, Inc. announced in late June that it plans to build two new nuclear plants at the site of its South Texas Project nuclear facility. The facility is located on the Gulf Coast near Wadsworth, Texas, about 90 miles southwest of Houston. The two plants will have a combined capacity of 2,700 megawatts and will use Advanced Boiling Water Reactor technology developed by General Electric Corporation. Construction of the two plants is expected to cost $5.2 billion and is expected within the next ten years. NRG filed a letter of intent with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on June 19th, stating its intention to construct the two plants. See the June 21st press release on the NRG Energy Web site.

NRG is the first company to announce that it will build a new nuclear plant in the United States, although a number of utilities are considering building new nuclear plants. In April, the Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) notified the NRC of its intent to submit a license application in 2009 for a new nuclear power plant in Florida. The utility has not picked a site or technology and does not expect to decide whether or not to build the plant for several years. In March, Duke Power announced that it selected a site in Cherokee County, South Carolina, as the potential site for a new nuclear plant. The utility is also considering two other sites located in North and South Carolina. And in February, Santee Cooper and the South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) selected the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, South Carolina, as a potential site for a new nuclear plant. As noted in the EERE Network News in February, plans are also underway to submit licenses for two other potential new nuclear plants in North Carolina and Georgia. See the press releases from FPL, Duke Power, and SCE&G, and the story from the February 1st edition of the EERE Network News.

While no U.S. utilities are building a new nuclear plant yet, one utility has been rebuilding an old one. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been upgrading its Browns Ferry Unit 1 nuclear plant, which was shutdown in 1985. The utility received a new operating license for the Alabama plant in May and plans to restart the reactor in May 2007. See the TVA press release.

Features