Unistar Nuclear’s plan to deploy a fleet of standardised US EPRs has developed with the announcement of its intention to file for an early site permit (ESP) in 2007 and a combined construction and operating licence (COL) in 2008.

A choice will be made between the Calvert Cliffs and Nine Mile Point sites for new build early in 2006.

Unistar is a new joint venture between Constellation Energy and Areva’s US subsidiary, Areva Inc, which is making modifications to the EPR design for conditions in the USA – the main difference being the need to output at 60Hz instead of 50Hz. Areva Inc’s 200-strong design team hope to submit the standardised US EPR to the NRC for design certification by the end of 2007. Once the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has digested the three applications, it is hoped the first Unistar plant could enter service in 2015.

Unistar’s grand plan is to have a fleet of US EPRs across the country boasting a very high degree of standardisation, all constructed by Areva Inc and operated by Constellation. Michael Wallace, Constellation’s executive vice president, said that Unistar’s first COL application would serve as a base for all future orders, avoiding replication in subsequent applications which would nevertheless have to include a site-specific component.

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