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Top U.S. Nuclear Official Commends Industry for Submitting 3rd Combined Construction & Operating License Application to the NRC


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon today commended Dominion North Anna, LLC (Dominion) for submission of a combined Construction and Operating License (COL) application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for construction of a new nuclear power plant in the United States. Dominion’s application seeks approval to build and operate one General Electric-Hitachi Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) at its North Anna site near Mineral, Virginia, and will serve as the reference application for future utilities applying to construct an ESBWR. After nearly a 30-year period without any applications submitted to the NRC, this marks the third complete COL application to build a new nuclear reactor in just three months.

“As the third complete license application for a new nuclear power plant submitted in less than three months, today’s announcement by Dominion demonstrates continued momentum for the expansion of safe, emissions-free nuclear energy in the United States,” Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon said, following Dominion’s press conference this afternoon. “Through cooperative partnerships with industry, loan guarantees and tax incentives, this Administration is providing sound policy to pave the way for a nuclear renaissance that will power a secure and affordable energy future.”

This application, catalyzed by DOE’s Nuclear Power 2010 program (NP2010), will set the regulatory groundwork for dozens of ESBWR reactors to be built. Through work under NP2010, Dominion is identifying and addressing regulatory and licensing issues early and is achieving standardization in the design and licensing of new reactors through collaboration with industry peers.

In 2005, DOE selected Dominion, and NuStart Energy - a consortium of utilities and rector vendors - to demonstrate the NRC’s untested process for licensing new reactors in the United States, and for obtaining regulatory approval of new reactor designs. The shared focus, use of industry experience, commitment to quality, and cooperation – coupled with early engagement with the NRC – are designed to provide a thorough and quality product for NRC review. Because of these public-private sector partnerships, last month, the Tennessee Valley Authority, a NuStart member, submitted a COL application to the NRC to construct two Westinghouse AP 1000 reactors at its Bellefonte site in Alabama.

Announced in 2002, NP2010 is a joint government/industry cost-shared effort that can help provide solutions to meet future base load energy demand and address climate change. Specifically, NP2010 seeks to demonstrate new, untested processes for licensing reactors in the United States; identify sites for new nuclear power plants, complete first-of-a-kind engineering of new reactor designs; develop and bring to market advanced nuclear plant technologies; and evaluate the business case for building new nuclear power plants.

For additional information on NP2010 and other DOE nuclear energy programs, visit the Office of Nuclear Energy.

Media contact(s):
Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940


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