Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Company LLC (CP Nuclear Power) have announced plans to start negotiating the engineering and procurement contracts for the proposed Comanche Peak units 3&4.
The companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 1 July detailing their plans to finalise an overall engineering and procurement agreement for the project and have begun discussions related to the details of those agreements. While the negotiations are not expected to result in an immediate capital commitment, they are expected to significantly advance project development. In addition, the parties agreed to continue active discussions with the US and Japanese financial institutions including NEXI (Nippon Export and Investment Insurance), who will be involved in providing financing for the project.
Also joining in the MOU are Luminant Generation Company LLC, and Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems, Inc. (MNES), the US-based subsidiary of MHI. CP Nuclear Power is a joint venture of Luminant and MHI that will own and oversee development and construction of the proposed new units.
The proposed plant would use the US-APWR (advanced pressurized water reactor), MHI’s advanced reactor design for the US market. Luminant selected the US-APWR as its technology of choice in March 2007, following an extensive evaluation of prospective nuclear generating technologies. Each new reactor unit is capable of producing 1700MWe, or enough nuclear energy to power almost 875,000 average Texas homes.
MHI submitted a design certification application for the US-APWR to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in December 2007. That application is currently under NRC review. Luminant submitted an application to the NRC in September 2008 for the Combined Operating License (COL) to build and operate Comanche Peak Units 3 & 4, and the agency accepted the application for review in December 2008. Based on its schedule, the NRC is expected to complete the review process by December 2011.