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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some Calvert Cliffs comments

By now, many of you have read the letter that Constellation Energy has sent to Electricite de France, both of whom are partners in UniStar, which was set up to build a now stalled, new third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs site. That letter offers EDF the stake in UniStar that Constellation formerly had for one dollar, but requests payment of a fractional share of the development costs that Constellation has paid over the years. Overall, if EDF wants a foothold in the US nuclear market it should sign quickly.

What I note today is the section of Constellation that indicates "serious reactor design deficiencies" or some such. The intended plant to be built was, we understand, to have been a French AREVA design (the 4500 MWt AREVA Evolutionary Power Reactor, or "EPR.") One has to wonder what those shortcomings are - and one wonders if such exist with designs already well along in the licensing process, such as the Westinghouse AP1000 that might get built twice at Southern Company's Vogtle site in Georgia. Again, we see evidence of how the largely fractured and segmented nuclear power industry in the US hurts us.

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