A project development agreement has been reached between Entergy Nuclear and GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy that includes an advanced reactor components order. Proceeding with the order now will ensure timely delivery of schedule-critical parts should Entergy, the USA’s second largest nuclear operating company, decide to build a new nuclear unit, possibly completed by 2017. The order includes large forgings as well as fabrication of several nuclear and turbine components required for the ESBWR design.

Entergy Nuclear, through NuStart Energy Development, is planning to submit a combined construction and operating licence (COL) application for its Grand Gulf nuclear site in Mississippi by the end of 2007. The company is also planning to submit a COL application for its River Bend site in Louisiana by mid-2008.

The Grand Gulf Nuclear Station, located in Port Gibson, about 40km south of Vicksburg, Mississipi, has a 1,266 MW BWR while River Bend Station in St. Francisville, northwest of Baton Rouge, has a 978 MW BWR.

“This significant components order ensures GEH and Entergy will be able to build an ESBWR project on schedule if Entergy formally decides to build a new unit,” said Andy White, president and chief executive officer of GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

Terms of the project development agreement and the order are confidential.