Constellation declares support for EPR

14 May 2005

Constellation Energy has expressed interest in possible future construction of a US version of Framatome ANP’s (FANP's) European Pressurized Water Reactor (EPR) and formally expressed support for US design certification of the EPR in a 4 May letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Constellation has “reviewed the general characteristics of the evolutionary design of the EPR and (has) agreed to work together with FANP to support licensing the EPR for potential future construction in the US,” Michael Wallace, president of Constellation’s generation group, said in his letter to the NRC. “We view the EPR as a viable option to meet our future forecast requirements,” and have therefore, “committed to participate with FANP in support of their pre-application submittals, and, as appropriate, for a potential future owner, facilitate the licensing process.”

Constellation’s support letter for EPR “is important to the US licensing process” of the EPR, said Ray Ganthner, FANP senior vice president for the company's North American new plants deployment business unit. “Our goal is to complete the pre-application process, submit an application for design certification, and build the first EPR in the US by the middle of the next decade.”

One other US utility, Duke Power, already submitted a similar letter supporting EPR design certification. On 16 February, Brew Barron, Duke’s chief nuclear officer, said that Duke was in the initial stages of planning for a combined construction and operating license (COL) for a new nuclear plant and was considering the EPR, as well as designs by General Electric and Westinghouse.

Neither Constellation nor Duke has made a final decision to build a new nuclear plant, or formally selected a plant design.

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