Licensing Board Deals Blow To Calvert Cliffs 3
Lusby, MD - 4/21/2011
By Marty Madden
A three-judge panel has issued an order for the applicants seeking federal permission to construct a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby to demonstrate why the application process for the proposed project should not be terminated.
The ruling issued earlier this week by the Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) stated that the applicants, UniStar Nuclear Energy and Calvert Cliffs 3 Nuclear Project LLC, must "show cause" by May 9 why the ASLB should not grant a summary disposition on the application interveners' contention of foreign ownership, deny the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) authorization to issue a license and terminate the proceedings.
The parties will have until May 23 to respond to any arguments offered May 9.
As of last fall, UniStar is 100 percent owned by Electricite de France, whose majority owner is the French Government. Federal regulations prohibit ownership of nuclear reactors by foreign entities, UniStar's U.S. partner, Constellation Energy Group, bowed out of the Calvert Cliffs 3 project at that time. Efforts to find a new U.S. partner in the venture have been unsuccessful.
In their order, the ASLB stated that federal regulations not only prohibit foreign ownership, "they also seem to prohibit filing a combined license application by such an entity. UniStar and its subsidiaries are not persons lawfully entitled to apply for and obtain a combined license application."
"The ASLB order was triggered by the previously disclosed letter from the NRC," stated Laura R. Eifler, a spokesperson for UniStar. "With respect to ASLB, we will respond by May 9 as requested."
The Calvert Cliffs 3 project has been solidly supported by the Calvert County Government and officials from surrounding jurisdictions, all of whom have touted the large number of temporary and permanent jobs the plan would yield.
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