29 September 2008 -- PPL Corp. has taken another step in the ongoing evaluation and development of a new nuclear power plant near Berwick, Pa., with the submission of an application to the U.S. Department of Energy for a federal loan guarantee.
The new plant, which would be called Bell Bend, would be sited near the company's existing two-unit Susquehanna nuclear power plant, a facility with a 25-year history of operation.
PPL will submit a second part of the loan guarantee application as required before the Dec. 19 deadline. PPL also is preparing an application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a combined license to build and operate Bell Bend. The company expects to file that application later this year.
PPL has not yet made a final decision to move forward with construction of the Bell Bend plant. That decision won't be made for at least several years, and will depend on several factors, including a federal loan guarantee and the company's view of the power market fundamentals at that time. Other factors are obtaining an NRC license and attracting additional investors.
PPL has chosen the Evolutionary Power Reactor from Areva of France. The federal loan guarantee program was authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to support projects that avoid greenhouse gas emissions and employ new technologies. Congress has appropriated $18.5 billion for the federal loan guarantee program.