News Release —December 18, 2008
NRC Dockets UniStar Application
for Proposed New Reactor in New York State
Regulatory milestone and EDF investment in Constellation Energy Nuclear Group Bolster UniStar Nuclear Energy Plans for Four New U.S. Reactors
UniStar Advances Loan Guarantee Application for Potential New Maryland Reactor
BALTIMORE, Dec. 18, 2008 – UniStar Nuclear Energy (UNE), a strategic joint venture of Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) and EDF Group, today announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has docketed three of four combined license (COL) applications developed by UniStar and its partners for new nuclear plants in the United States.
The regulatory milestones were followed Wednesday by EDF and Constellation Energy’s announcement they had reached a definitive investment agreement for EDF Development Inc. to acquire 49.99 percent interest in Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) for $4.5 billion. CENG operates five reactors at three locations in New York and Maryland.
“This new joint venture further underscores the strong relationship that exists between EDF and Constellation Energy, and complements UniStar’s commitment to lead the nuclear renaissance in the United States,” said George Vanderheyden, president and chief executive officer of UniStar Nuclear Energy. “The agreement between Constellation Energy and EDF is consistent with the companies’ focus on breaking ground on the first new reactor at Constellation Energy’s Calvert Cliffs site in Southern Maryland, as soon as the regulatory process allows, which could be as early as 2009.”
Vanderheyden noted that the advanced design of the proposed nuclear plants will enable the generation of electricity around-the-clock without producing greenhouse gases, while at the same time, supporting national environmental and energy security goals.
UniStar plans to submit a Part II application for a federal loan guarantee for the proposed Calvert Cliffs 3 reactor in Lusby, Maryland by the Dec. 19, 2008 deadline. The U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee program provides for $18.5 billion in secure financing for new or significantly improved energy-related technologies that are capable of achieving substantial environmental benefits.
The NRC’s decision to accept the New York COL application for detailed review sets the stage for the NRC to hold public meetings on the application early next year. The proposed nuclear plant would be built next to Constellation Energy’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Scriba, N.Y.
UniStar and its partners have not made final decisions to proceed with any of the proposed reactors in Maryland, Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania. A final decision will not be made until UniStar’s expectations have been met regarding safety, cost, regulatory stability and bipartisan federal, state and local support.
In 2007, UniStar submitted the first, or “reference” application, for the proposed reactor in Maryland. The three subsequent applications, including those by AmerenUE for the proposed plant in Missouri and by PPL for the proposed plant in Pennsylvania, leverage the experience gained by UniStar in preparing the Calvert Cliffs application.
The NRC’s review of the New York COL application is expected to take 36-42 months, and state regulatory review also is required. The COL application seeks federal regulatory approval for a 1,600-megawatt nuclear plant that would generate electricity for more than one million households.
UniStar’s chosen technology is AREVA’s U.S. Evolutionary Power Reactor (U.S. EPR), an advanced, evolutionary design based on reactors currently operating in Europe. The project, one of four proposed by UniStar, would leverage the expertise of Constellation Energy, which owns five U.S. nuclear reactors, and EDF Group, the world’s largest nuclear operator and owner of France’s 58 operating nuclear plants. The economic benefits of the EPR include creation of 4,000 construction jobs and about 360 permanent jobs.
New power plants are needed to meet projected energy shortages in Maryland, New York State and the Eastern United States. Nuclear power is considered an essential component of a diverse mix of energy sources for its ability to reliably generate baseload electricity – power that is constant 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is not affected by weather or climate.
UniStar Nuclear Energy, a strategic joint venture between Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) and EDF Group, is powering the nuclear renaissance in North America through industry leadership, disciplined business practices and effective risk-management. Based in Baltimore, Md., UniStar Nuclear Energy provides the licensing, construction and operating services needed to support the expansion of clean, safe and sustainable nuclear energy in the United States.
Constellation Energy (www.constellation.com), a FORTUNE 125 company with 2007 revenues of $21 billion, is the nation’s largest competitive supplier of electricity to large commercial and industrial customers and the nation’s largest wholesale power seller. Constellation Energy also manages fuels and energy services on behalf of energy intensive industries and utilities. It owns a diversified fleet of 78 generating units located throughout the United States, totaling approximately 9,000 megawatts of generating capacity. The company delivers electricity and natural gas through the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), its regulated utility in Central Maryland.
About EDF Group
The EDF Group, one of the leaders in the energy market in Europe, is an integrated energy company active in all businesses: production, transport, distribution, energy selling and trading. The Group is the leading electricity producer in Europe. EDF's nuclear production capacity, the largest in the world, consists of 58 power plants on 19 sites. In France, it has mainly nuclear and hydroelectric power plants where 95% of the electricity output involves no CO2 emissions. EDF's transport and distribution subsidiaries operate 1,246,000 km of low and medium voltage overhead and underground electricity lines and around 100,000 km of high and very high voltage networks. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to more than 38 million customers around the world, including more than 28 million in France. The Group generated consolidated sales of EUR 59.6 billion, (or $81.06 billion1), in 2007, of which 44 percent originated in Europe excluding France. EDF is listed on the NYSE-Euronext Paris stock exchange as one of the largest market cap companies.
11EUR = 1,36 US$