10 September 2012

Final Blow to EDF’s US Adventure?

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) has ruled on 30 August 2012 that the French State utility Électricité de France (EDF) is “ineligible to obtain a license” for the construction of Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 in Maryland “as long as the current ownership arrangement is in effect”. Furthermore, the Board stated that it “will terminate this proceeding 60 days after the issuance of this order” unless EDF finds a new US partner. (The full text of the ruling is here). The US Atomic Energy Act prohibits the control of nuclear operators by foreign corporations. When Unistar applied for a combined Construction and Operating License (COL) for an EPR (Evolutionary Power Reactor) in July 2007, it was jointly owned by EDF and Constallation. This partnership was broken in October 2010 and after almost two years of unsuccessful partner search, it is highly unlikely that EDF will succeed within the next two months. The ASLB ruling follows a Joint Intervenors’ Contention launched by the four citizen groups Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), Beyond Nuclear, Public Citizen and Southern MD CARES.