NRC denies Calvert Cliffs 3 nuclear plant license

Members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) upheld the licensing board’s decision to deny a construction and operating license for the proposed 1,500 MW Calvert Cliffs 3 nuclear reactor in Maryland, according reports.

The decision not to allow the reactor, according to the release, marks the first time in history that the NRC has upheld a license denial for a commercial nuclear reactor, and only the second time a commercial nuclear facility has been denied a license at all – the other being a Louisiana uranium enrichment facility shut down in 1997.

The denial of a license to the petitioner UniStar Nuclear was based on a finding that the nuclear plant would have been in violation of key provisions of the Atomic Energy Act.

UniStar Nuclear is owned entirely by Electricite de France (EDF), which is owned primarily by the government of France–the Atomic Energy Act prohibits foreign ownership, control or domination of a nuclear reactor in the U.S. The plant would have been a European Pressurized Reactor constructed by Areva, which also is mostly owned by the government of France.

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