Bell Bend, Pennsylvania

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) received an application from PPL Generation for a construction and operating license (COL) on October 10, 2008 for a new nuclear reactor in Bell Bend, Pennsylvania, about 7 miles northeast of Berwick.

PPL Generation is a subsidiary of the PPL Corporation, which has a generating capacity of 11,000-megawatts using sources such as coal, natural gas, oil, uranium, and water. PPL has two existing reactors nearby at the Susquehanna plant, which has been operating for 25 years, combining for about 2,200-megawatts.

The reactor proposed for Bell Bend is an AREVA-U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR), making Bell Bend one of four US cities that have officially applied for the new reactor design. The uncertified design is expected to be under review by the NRC until May 2011. The EPR is a French design, and is purported to produce 1,600-megawatts. To help with the 10,000 page application, PPL contracted UniStar, co-owned by the French company, EDF and Constellation Energy. UniStar completed its application for the same reactor to be built at Calvert Cliffs, Maryland in April 2008.

To view the application, click here.

The NRC is expected to take three to four years reviewing the application. PPL’s ultimate decision to build will be based on its ability to gain federal loan guarantees and additional investors. PPL submitted the first part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s federal loan guarantee application on September 29, 2008, and has another deadline on December 19, 2008. Reactors of this kind are expected to cost around $10 billion.

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