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UniStar has filed petition of board’s August decision

By AMANDA HARRISON

Staff writer

An order has been issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing board to close the proceedings for the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant unit 3 proposal.

Thursday, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, which has been handling the proposed Calvert Cliffs 3 reactor application, issued an order to terminate its review of the proposal because UniStar failed to meet its 60-day deadline to find a U.S. partner.

The order states that because UniStar wasn’t able to provide information satisfying the ownership situation to the ASLB and the 60-day period has expired, “this proceeding is hereby terminated.”

However, in late September, UniStar, the applicant for the third reactor which was bought out by Electricite de France in November 2010, resulting in 100-percent French ownership, filed a petition with the five-member, presidentially appointed commission that oversees the NRC, asking for a review of the decision the ASLB issued Aug. 31.

The ASLB’s August ruling determined that the project would be in violation of the Atomic Energy Act’s prohibition against foreign ownership, control or domination. In addition to the decision, the ASLB gave UniStar 60 days from the date of the decision to find a U.S. partner to enable it to meet the foreign ownership restrictions before the proceeding would be officially concluded.

UniStar’s petition states that “UniStar faces considerable uncertainty regarding the regulatory acceptability of foreign ownership and financing of the project.

“... UniStar and prospective investors need to understand in advance what levels of foreign investment will be found acceptable and what specific negation actions will be required.”

The decision has “no bearing on our petition with the commissioners,” said Laura Eifler, spokeswoman for UniStar.

She also said that if UniStar comes forward with additional information about ownership, the review process can be reopened.

aharrison@somdnews.com