20 September 2005 – Constellation Energy and Areva have formed a joint enterprise with the aim of developing the first fleet of advanced nuclear power plants in the US in nearly three decades.
The joint enterprise, UniStar Nuclear, will offer the business framework for companies to embark on joint ventures with Constellation Energy in the licensing, construction, ownership and operation of nuclear power plants as part of a standardized fleet.
UniStar Nuclear will market a standard advanced design called the US Evolutionary Power Reactor (US EPR). The 1600 MW model is based on Areva’s advanced nuclear power plant, which is currently being built in Finland and will also be built in France.
As prime contractor, Areva will supply the proposed UniStar fleet with the nuclear reactor and all support systems, instrumentation and control system and an initial load of nuclear fuel. Constellation will operate the fleet of nuclear power plants and expects to hold the plant operating licenses. Bechtel Power Corporation will support the projects with engineering and construction services.
At the recent signing of the USA’s new energy policy, president Bush said that the country would be building new nuclear power plant capacity by the end of the decade.
Michael Wallace, executive vice president of Constellation Energy and co-chief executive of UniStar Nuclear, said: “The foresight and actions taken by the Bush administration and Congress with the passage of the Energy Policy Act, have paved the way for today’s announcement.”