BACKGROUND: On September 30, 2008, UniStar Nuclear Energy, a joint venture between Constellation Energy and French-based EDF Inc., filed an application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to construct a third nuclear reactor at Constellation’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Oswego, New York. The reactor would be an Areva-designed 1,600-megawatt U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor. UniStar did not disclose a cost estimate, but stated that it expects Nine Mile Point Unit 3 to provide up to 4,000 construction jobs and approximately 360 new, permanent jobs once the plant is operational. At the time the application was filed, review was expected to take 36 to 42 months.
On December 9, 2009, UniStar asked the NRC to temporarily suspend review of the Unit 3 license application. Because the project was not selected for a federal loan guarantee, UniStar could not secure adequate financing.
In October 2010, Constellation Energy, which held a 50 percent stake in UniStar, exited the joint venture. French government-backed EDF, Inc. now owns all of UniStar (and any potential to develop Nine Mile Point Unit 3), but must find a U.S.-based partner. Federal law prohibits full ownership or control of a U.S. nuclear plant by a foreign entity.
SOURCES: NRC (http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/nine-mile-point.html);
Syracuse Post-Standard (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/12/application_reivew_for_buildin.html);
World Nuclear News (http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C_EdF_takes_control_of_Unistar_2710101.html);
Last Updated: November 8, 2010