The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently authorized a contested hearing for Luminant’s application to expand Comanche Peak’s Nuclear Power Plant with two more units.

After the NRC staff completes a technical review of Luminant’s expansion application, which was filed in September 2008, it will document its findings in a safety evaluation report and schedule the contested hearing.

“From our prospective, we anticipated a contested hearing and this will have no impact on the timeline we, as a company, expected,” Luminant spokesperson Ashley Monts said.

According to the NRC’s review schedule, the review to issue a license should be completed by December 2011. With the contested hearing, it would be approximately one additional year before a license would be issued. Construction would begin in 2012, following the issuance of the license.

The next milestone in the application process for Luminant is targeted for November when the NRC will request additional information from the company.

During the next year, an environmental review will also be completed for proposed Units 3 and 4. An environmental impact statement (EIS) summary was issued in July and a draft is scheduled to be presented to the Environmental Protection Agency in March 2010, with a final EIS issued in January 2011.