US nuclear consortium NuStart, which is aiming to build a next generation nuclear plant in the USA, has been denied Department of Energy (DoE) funding to submit a second combined construction and operating licence (COL) application.

The decision comes as NuStart prepares two licence applications, one for GE’s ESBWR design and one for Westinghouse’s AP1000 design. NuStart head Marilyn Kray told NEI that NuStart has DoE funding to prepare two COL applications, but said: “We are only funded to submit one of two applications.”

Kray pointed out that the review fees for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission “represent a very small portion of the overall project costs,” and added: “We are pleased that the DoE continues to fund the efforts necessary to complete both of the reactor designs.”

The subsidised licence application process comes as a part of the DoE Nuclear Power 2010 programme, under which the DoE had originally planned to part-finance only three COL applications. However, growing interest led the department to add an additional reactor to the programme.

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