STATUS: In progress with opposition
OPPOSITION: Public Citizen, Nuke Free Texas
BACKGROUND: Amarillo Power and UniStar Nuclear Energy plan to build a two-unit merchant nuclear power plant in Amarillo, Texas. The project will utilize a 1,600-megawatt U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor designed by Areva, Inc. When originally proposed by Amarillo Power in 2005, the project was to use two General Electric Advanced Boiling Water Reactors for a combined output of 2,700 megawatts; however, the new output will be 3,200 megawatts. In 2006, Amarillo Power notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it would seek an Early Site Permit (ESP) for this plan. In March 2007, Amarillo Power joined with UniStar, shifted plant design to the Areva reactor, and notified the NRC that it would forego the ESP for a construction and operation license (COL) in 2009. As of 2010 applications for plant construction and an operating license have not been filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Issues regarding access to water and availability of transmission lines appear to be holding up the application. Opposition is generally low because an application has not been filed with the NRC. Once an application is filed, traditional anti-nuclear opponents will almost certainly challenge it.
SOURCES: Amarillo.com (http://amarillo.com/stories/090908/new_news4.shtml);
Bloomberg News (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a980jwliyVpA&refer=us);
World Nuclear Association (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf41.html);
Nuke Free Texas (http://nukefreetexas.org/);
Public Citizen (http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=618).
Last Updated: November 2, 2010