[Verbatim statement from Entergy] Jackson, Miss. – Entergy New Nuclear Utility Development, commonly referred to as Entergy Nuclear, is temporarily suspending reviews of two new nuclear license applications and will explore alternative nuclear technologies that better serve its customers, company officials announced today. The company asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday to suspend reviews specific to GE Hitachi's Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor after unsuccessful attempts to come to mutually acceptable business terms with GEH. Entergy Nuclear also will temporarily defer environmental reviews related to the construction and operating license applications for potential projects at its nuclear sites at Grand Gulf, near Port Gibson, Miss., and River Bend, near St. Francisville, La.
Entergy Nuclear will continue to explore other new nuclear technologies as Entergy's utility operating companies seek solutions for meeting the region''s growing energy demands. Though work has been suspended on the ESBWR, licensing work completed to date will be used for any alternative technology selected.
"We continue to see value in developing the nuclear option, and the temporary suspension of the license application review effort does not reflect a change in position regarding new nuclear's potential value," said Paul Hinnenkamp, vice president of Entergy Nuclear's business development function.
"The suspension of Entergy Nuclear's applications referencing the ESBWR is not a criticism of that design. Rather, this action simply reflects the fact that we have not been able to come to mutually agreeable terms and conditions with GEH for the potential deployment of an ESBWR," Hinnenkamp said. "We will continue to explore alternatives as we maintain our pursuit of a new nuclear option that is in our customers' best interests."
In 2008, Entergy Nuclear filed two applications to build and operate potential new reactors at existing nuclear sites at Grand Gulf and River Bend. Both applications referenced the ESBWR technology, one of several reactor designs undergoing certification by the NRC. All of the dozens of new nuclear applications across the country reference either a previously certified design or one that is currently under review for certification.
"The licensing efforts completed to date will be beneficial as we pursue other alternatives, and our work will be useful with respect to other reactor designs we are evaluating," Hinnenkamp added. "For example, we would expect to utilize the environmental reviews that have been completed to date in any subsequent application revision."
The decision to build a new nuclear plant will be based on several factors, including an assessment of customer need for additional electricity and estimated costs of electricity as compared to costs from other fuel sources.
Although Entergy Nuclear has made no commitment to build a new nuclear plant, the company will continue to develop the new nuclear option. Nuclear is a competitive form of generation that many utility companies are pursuing to help meet baseload energy needs.
Clean-air nuclear energy is safe, proven and efficient. Other factors – such as natural gas prices, the likelihood of federal legislation that would tax carbon-emitting generation, the need for fuel supply diversity and the nation's growing energy demands for large-scale generation – continue to point to nuclear as a strong baseload option.
Entergy New Nuclear Utility Development is a company created by Entergy to manage the development of nuclear power options in the company's regulated service territory.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,300 employees.
Entergy Nuclear's online address is http://www.entergy-nuclear.com
I can't help but wonder if this "suspension" has anything to do with funding constraints or potential liabilities that may be imposed upon Entergy because of their recently disclosed customer overcharges. Also, I was never clear about how Entergy proposed to charge customers for developing a new nuclear reactor plant in advance of actually providing additional power. Did they plan to put a separate item on our bills? Was it going to be a flat charge or a percentage of our bill? Does anyone know?
Did a little research. As I understand it from Entergy's point of view the "pay as you go" approach passed by the legislature allows current rate payments for energy use apply to new plant construction. The idea is that by not borrowing money to build a plant and paying for it "as you go" you save interest costs for Entergy and the consumer. So, I guess the upfront costs are supposed to be included in the rate allowed by the PSC (Public Service Commission). I'd be interested to know if any upfront costs are included in our current electric rate and how they compare to the overcharges.
Not so smart here. Just read the Hood statement and the hanky-panky did not have anything to do with consumer rates. It had to do with energy trading and price contracts with hidden interests that benefited Entergy but not the the rate-paying customers. Sort of Enron-like. Sorry, for thinking out loud in front of everybody.
I respectfully disagree with your assessment that your previous comment was incorrect.
The bottom line is and always will be to pass on costs to rate payers, while reducing stockholder liabilities and increasing corporate profits..be that through fuel shenannigans or pre-paid rate shenanaigans.
Somewhere along the line the power industry, like the communications industry, have forgotton that they are allowed to use public demand for power and the public airways, respectively, with limited competition.
We will reduce your competition and allow you the use of a publically owned asset in exhange for a "reasonable profit" and government oversight...to protect the public.
This has now changed to the corporations claiming the the government oversight has limited their ability to "maximize profits" in the power industry, and the communications industry over charging us for pornographic laced advertisements and programming (not a parallel comparison ..but I don't hve an editior to please...sorry Ladd).
This public/private business model about face has even changed the healthcare industry.
Remember when Blue Cross / Blue Shield were non-profit entities? They judged their effectiveness on minimizing the administrative costs they deducted from premiums (around 5%) in order to maximize the premium paid for direct care of policy holders.
Well since they have become for profit corporations the goal is to maximize profits at around 25% -30%.
Will any of our elected officials save us from the corporate greed mentality??
Fair enough, T.C.O. and excellent points about the mutation of public service-centered organizations to public profit-centered organizations. I would love to see a return of lower-profit, public service oriented business enterprises.
In answer to your last question, I don't think elected officials will save us. They run on money, too. They need excess profits to get their elections financed. I hope Obama will help raise consciousness but ultimately all of us in business and in life have to be clear that the profit motive is never more important than doing what is right and honest and fair. Shouldn't matter what your trade or business may be, public or private.