Citing tax credits and other incentives in the new national energy policy law, Constellation Energy Group and Areva Inc. say they will try to lead a resurgence of nuclear power in the U.S. The companies have formed a joint enterprise, Annapolis, Md.-based UniStar Nuclear, that will seek to form ventures with other energy providers and investors interested in building and operating at least four nuclear power plants.
“With the recent passage of the Energy Policy Act, we now believe the time is right to build nuclear power plants in America,” says Michael J. Wallace, executive vice president of Constellation. As currently envisioned, he says construction could begin as early as 2010, and the plants could be in operation by 2015. UniStar will market a 1,600-MW “evolutionary power reactor” designed for America by Areva, the U.S. arm of France’s state-owned nuclear power company.
Wallace identified Constellation’s nuclear power plants at Calvert Cliffs, Md., and Nine Mile Point near Oswego, N.Y., as “viable sites for possible future development.” Bechtel Power Corp. would provide architecture, engineering, and construction support for the new facilities.
No nuclear power plant has been licensed in the U.S. since 1978, a year before the partial meltdown of the core reactor at the Three Mile Island power station near Harrisburg, Pa.