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CitizenVox: Standing Up to Corporate Power

Comanche Peak, Texas

On September 19, 2008, Luminant Generation Company, LLC (Luminant) submitted an application for a construction and operation license (COL) with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build two additional units at the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant. The plant is located four and a half miles northwest of Glen Rose in Somervell County and about 80 miles southwest of downtown Dallas.

Luminant Power is a subsidiary of Luminant, which is itself a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp, and operates 20 power plants in Texas: 14 gas, 5 lignite-coal, and 1 nuclear (Comanche Peak). The current plant took 21 years to build, and the two Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) currently in service at the site have a combined operating capacity of 2,300-megawatts. The new reactors would add 3,400-megawatts to the total.

Luminant is seeking approval to build two U.S. Advanced Pressurized Water Reactors (US-APWR), a reactor designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Their design is not certified and has at this time not been built anywhere in the world.  Mitsubishi applied for design certification with the NRC on December 31, 2007. The last phase of safety checks is targeted to be completed in September of 2011, and a final verdict on its design to be made sometime thereafter.

The cost of the application process alone will add up to $200 million for Luminant, a cost Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will cover, seduced by the opportunity to buy 12% of the project in return. Cost estimates for the project are up to $26.7 Billion, and loan guarantees will be required to cover most of it. Approval and construction time will likely take 10 years, making 2018 the best case scenario for Luminant.

To view Luminant’s application, click here.

If you would like to get involved in stopping the construction of new nuclear plants in Texas, please e-mail us and let us know how you’d like to help. We can provide you with information and strategic advice.

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