WASHINGTON – In response to the issuance of a first-of-kind Early Site Permit (ESP) by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to Exelon Generation Co. for the Clinton, Ill. ESP site, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member Pete Domenici issued the following statement:
“Today’s announcement is a watershed event in the development of new nuclear power plants in the United States. By issuing an Early Site Permit to Exelon’s Clinton, Illinois site, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is sending a strong message that their new regulatory process works.
“This announcement is also evidence that the provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 intended to bring about a nuclear renaissance are doing just that. By providing tax credits, loan guarantees, and standby risk insurance, we have created a climate conducive to the expansion of nuclear power, which is a clean, safe alternative energy.
“I congratulate all parties involved, including the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy and the NRC, and I look forward to more ESP’s being granted in the months to come, as well as the submittal of Construction and Operating Licenses which will follow.”
The Clinton, Ill. site is one of three Early Site Permit projects within DOE’s Nuclear Power 2010 program. NP2010 is a joint government/industry cost sharing effort to identify sites for new nuclear plants, development and bring to market advanced nuclear plant technologies, and demonstrate untested regularly processes.
Exelon submitted the first ESP application to the NRC in September 2003. After 42 months and $15 million, the Clinton site received the first site approval. DOE has provided about $7 million through cost sharing for the project.