Talen Energy abandons proposed Bell Bend nuclear power plant

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AREVA European Pressurized Reactor EPR

Talen Energy, the company that owns the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Pennsylvania, has informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it sees no “viable path” forward and is abandoning its application to construct a new nuclear power plant next to the Susquehanna facility.

On October 10th, 2008, the NRC received an application that proposed to construct a new facility called the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant.  The application was submitted in time to qualify for $8 billion in federal loan guarantees and special production tax credits under the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005.

The planned reactor was an AREVA design called the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR).  In 2008, when the application was submitted, the EPR reactor at Bell Bend was expected to cost at least $10 billion to develop and come online in 2016 or 2017.  By 2011, the estimated costs had ballooned to $13 to $15 billion and the date of operation had been bumped back to between 2018 and 2020.

AREVA asked the NRC to suspend its safety review of the reactor design on February 25th, 2015.

In June, 2016, Talen Energy was purchased by Riverstone Holdings.  Shortly after the private investment firm purchased the company, the announcement was made that the Bell Bend project would be shelved.

“Talen Energy sees no viable path to obtaining a license for Bell Bend,” spokesman Todd L. Martin wrote.

It is estimated that Talen Energy has invested more than $200 million in the project.

Source: World Nuclear News

Source: The Morning Call

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