The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision last week to approve the construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia signaled a "positive step," the chief nuclear officer at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant north of Glen Rose said.
Comanche Peak has applied to the NRC to build two new nuclear reactors at the plant site off FM 56.
"We are pleased to see the Nuclear Regulatory Commission moving forward with the licensing process and feel this news represents a positive step for the industry," said Rafael Flores, chief nuclear officer for Luminant, in a statement in response to the Reporter's request for comment.
Luminant and its partner in the proposed expansion, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' nuclear engineering unit, are "continuing to pursue the necessary certification and licensing for additional clean-air, dependable nuclear power for Texas," Flores added.
More than a dozen companies have applied to the NRC for construction and operating licenses to build new reactors. Comanche Peak has been on the alternate list of new reactors to be approved.
The NRC voted 4-1 to allow Southern Co. of Atlanta to add two reactors to its existing pair of reactors at the company's plant in Waynesboro, Ga. The two new reactors are expected to go online in 2016 and 2017.
The only dissenting vote at the five-member NRC came from Chairman Gregory Jaczko. He cited safety concerns about the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan last year following a major earthquake and tsunami
Southern Co. and its partners were offered $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees.
Energy Future Holdings, the parent company of Luminant, which operates Comanche Peak, also has said that federal loan guarantees are needed for its expansion to go forward.
Regarding Comanche Peak's placement on the list of nuclear projects, Flores said, "It's too early to tell what impact this will have on our placement on the DOE's loan guarantee list."