Luminant Requests NRC Allow Expansion of Comanche Peak Plant
Luminant submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Sept. 19 for the potential expansion of its Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant near Glen Rose, Texas.
"This application is an initial, but significant, step toward expanding the use of safe, dependable, clean nuclear power," said Luminant Chief Executive Officer David Campbell. "While we are just at the beginning of a multi-year regulatory review process, we are focused on developing new generation resources for Texas."
The application – called a Combined Operating License Application (COLA) – is about 7,500 pages long. It requests approval for two new nuclear power generation units of 1,700 megawatts each. These new units (to be known as Comanche Peak Units 3 & 4) would produce enough nuclear electricity to power approximately 1.8 million average Texas homes.
"These potential new units would help address growing Texas electricity demand and contribute to needed fuel diversity while providing clean energy," said Campbell. "We appreciate the continued community support for our current operations and look forward to the possibility of expanding our current investment and employment base."
Luminant has submitted a loan guarantee application form to the Department of Energy. Luminant is finalizing the Phase I application information for submittal in accordance with the guidelines and timeframe established by the DOE.
"Expanding nuclear power at plants such as Comanche Peak can help play an important role in increasing access to a safe, clean energy supply while creating new highly-skilled jobs that can boost the economy," said U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Waco), a senior member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.
"Texas citizens need more clean power and I'm pleased that the application to potentially expand Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant is moving forward."
"The Somervell County Commissioners have passed a resolution supporting the potential expansion of the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant," said Somervell County Judge Walter Maynard. "Luminant has been a good neighbor since the 1980s by consistently doing what they said they would do – taking care of the land, the air, and the water in partnership with the people of our county. They have also brought jobs, tax revenues, and economic development that we wouldn't see otherwise. We hope this project moves forward."
After an extensive evaluation of multiple prospective nuclear generating technologies, Luminant selected the 1,700-megawatt US-Advanced Pressurized Water Reactor, or US-APWR, designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. as its technology of choice. Mitsubishi submitted an application to have the US-APWR design certified by the NRC in December 2007 and the application is currently under review.
The US-APWR includes automatic safety systems and other advanced design elements. Twenty-three similar units are operating in Japan with a fleet operating record of fewer than 0.1 unplanned shutdowns per year.
In conjunction with the filing of the application, Luminant and Mitsubishi entered into an agreement to form a joint venture to further the development of Comanche Peak Units 3 & 4 using MHI's US-APWR technology. Closing of the joint venture is currently anticipated to occur prior to year end.
Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., is a competitive power generation business, including mining, wholesale marketing and trading, construction and development operations.