NRC says proposed nuclear reactors at South Texas plant don't meet U.S. ownership requirements due to Japanese company Toshiba's involvement; agency halts review, won't issue license for reactors

LOS ANGELES , December 14, 2011 () – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is halting review of non-foreign ownership requirements of proposed new reactors at a South Texas plant after learning of Japanese corporation Toshiba’s involvement, Reuters reported Dec. 14.

Laws prohibit foreign companies from controlling U.S. nuclear plants, so the NRC won't issue a license for the reactors due to Toshiba’s involvement.

The South Texas plant is owned by U.S.-based NRG Energy (44%), the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy utility and Austin Energy. The plant has two 1,280-MW reactors, with one MW capable of powering approximately 1,000 houses. In 2007, the operator of the plant, STP Nuclear Operating, applied for a license to build two new Toshiba 1,350-MW reactors at the plant. The estimated cost, initially US$13 billion, was raised to US$17 billion.

In January 2011, Nuclear Innovation North America (NINA), comprised of NRG and Toshiba, replaced STP as the lead applicant for the reactors. This spring, NRG ceased its investment, which potentially gives Toshiba majority ownership of NINA and the new reactors.

The primary source of this article is Reuters, London, England, on Dec. 14, 2011.

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