The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has accepted the second half of Unistar's combined construction and operating licence (COL) application for a new reactor at its Calvert Cliffs site for review. Separately, Detroit Edison has named GE-Hitachi's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor as the design reference for its planned Fermi unit 3.
Unistar submitted the second half of the Calvert Cliffs COL application, comprising the safety analysis and related information, in March 2008, completing the partial submission lodged in July 2007. The first part of the application comprised the environmental report and was accepted for review, or 'docketed', in January 2008. Going forward, NRC will now be able to embark on the safety review for the proposed plant alongside the environmental review that is already under way.
The Calvert Cliffs site in Maryland is owned by Unistar partner Constellation and is currently home to two pressurized water reactors (PWRs). The US Evolutionary Power Reactor (USEPR) is designed by Areva Nuclear Power and is undergoing NRC design certification. The Calvert Cliffs application is the reference COL for the design, meaning future COL applications for USEPRs would be able to draw on generic parts of it. NRC anticipates COL applications for a further six such units by the end of 2009.
ESBWR for Fermi
The NRC now notes that Detroit Edison has selected GE-Hitachi's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) as the design reference for a new unit planned at its Fermi site in Michigan. The company plans to submit a COL application by the end of 2008. Detroit Edison's parent company, DTE Energy, is part of the NuStart consortium of utilities and reactor vendors including GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse. Two COL applications for ESBWRs have already been accepted for review by the NRC, including one from the NuStart consortium.