Nuclear, Reactors

PPL applies for license for potential new nuclear unit

10 October 2008 — A PPL Corp. unit filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to build and operate a new 1,600 MW nuclear plant under consideration near Berwick, Pa.

The Bell Bend nuclear plant would be built near the company’s existing two-unit Susquehanna nuclear power plant, which first came online 25 years ago.

NRC review of the combined license application is expected to take three to four years.

A final decision by PPL on whether to move forward with the Bell Bend plant won’t be made for several years, and will depend on NRC approval, on receiving a federal loan guarantee for the project, on attracting additional investors and on the company’s view of the power market fundamentals at that time, said Victor N. Lopiano, president, PPL Nuclear Development LLC.

The Bell Bend license application includes the U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor advanced technology from Areva of France, which is already under design certification review by the NRC. PPL contracted with UniStar Nuclear Energy, a strategic joint venture of Constellation Energy and EDF Group, to assist with preparation of the application.

Bell Bend would be part of the initial family of four U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactors led by UniStar’s Calvert Cliffs 3 project. Plants with this technology already are being constructed in Finland, France and China.