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Fri Jul 27, 2012, 03:03 PM

Will Foreign Ownership Kill 'The Nuclear Revival'?

End to Former "Flagships" of Sputtering U.S. "Nuclear Renaissance": Foreign Ownership Rules to Block Licensing of Calvert Cliffs 3 in MD, Nine Mile Point 3 in NY, and South Texas Project.

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2012

...The same foreign ownership issues blocking the Calvert Cliffs 3 license also would effectively kill the pending nuclear reactor projects at Nine Mile Point 3 in New York State and the South Texas Nuclear Project, according to the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS).

NIRS indicated that it has not been notified in advance by the NRC of the specific rulings but indicated that the handwriting has been on the wall for months for the foreign-controlled Calvert Cliffs 3 project, which has been unable find a U.S. partner in order to escape the foreign-ownership controls.

NIRS Executive Director Michael Mariotte said: "The expected NRC decision will be a blow to the nuclear industry generally, which is seeing viable new reactor orders fade away into the horizon. The first applicant beyond Calvert Cliffs 3 to be affected will be Nine Mile Point 3, also owned by UniStar. That project has been on hold pending the outcome of the Calvert Cliffs 3 proceeding. It will not proceed. Also greatly affected will be the South Texas Nuclear Project. Just four short years ago, Calvert Cliffs and South Texas were the flagships of the nuclear renaissance. In the summer of 2007, Calvert Cliffs became the first partial applicant for a new reactor license in 30 years. It was followed a few weeks later by South Texas, which became the first applicant to file a full license application. Now, both projects have failed."

Former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford, currently adjunct professor of nuclear and public policy at the Vermont Law School, said: "Whatever the NRC Licensing Board decides with regard to the foreign ownership issue tomorrow, the proposed reactors at Calvert Cliffs and South Texas are not going to be built in the foreseeable future. These units were never economic, not from the day that their NRC applications were first filed in 2007-2008, when they were hailed as the flagships of a 'nuclear renaissance'. The reactors always cost too much compared to available alternatives. They depended on massive subsidy from taxpayers and/or customers, subsidies that aren't going to be forthcoming and on climate change policies that have not been adopted."

Attorney Robert V. Eye...


Safety Board Delays Calvert Cliffs 3 Ruling
Rockville, MD - 7/27/2012 By Marty Madden

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reported Thursday, July 26 that a three-judge panel has opted to delay for at least a month a decision regarding the Calvert Cliffs 3 project. The Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) closed the record on testimony from proponents of the project to build a new, European-style reactor at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, and individuals and groups opposing the plan. The ASLB held an evidentiary hearing at the NRC building in Rockville in July 2011 on the opposition’s contention that since the project’s applicant, UniStar Nuclear Energy LLC, is foreign-owned the construction cannot go forward since it would violate federal law.

UniStar’s sole owner, Electricite de France (EDF) is mostly owned by the government of France.

...“It now appears that due to the intertwined nature of the issues still pending before our board, and the size and complexity of the record from the evidentiary hearing, the board will not be able to meet the July 27 deadline,” stated Administrative Judge Ronald M. Spritzer, the ASLB chairman. “The board expects to issue the partial initial decision on or before Aug. 31.”

...Michael Mariotte, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service and a spokesman for the Calvert Cliffs 3 opponents, said Friday, July 27 that the board's delay wasn't a surprise and is more likely prompted by the panel's pending decision on the protesters' contention that utilization of renewable energy sources--such as wind and solar power--as alternatives to nuclear have not been given sufficient consideration. "It's more complex than they thought," said Mariotte. "They [ASLB] have hundreds of thousands of pages of testimony. They have to look at it in the legal context. It's a difficult one."



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