Monday, September 24, 2007

NRG's Nuclear Energy?

NRG Energy Inc.(NRG), announced plans late Monday of intentions to build and commission a nuclear reactor in Bay City, Texas. NRG's completed construction and operating license submission would mark the first application the government has processed since 1979. With Constellation Energy Group's partially filed application and several anticipated requests from Dominion Resources Inc. and others, NRG's proposed reactor could signify an inflection point for our aging nuclear energy industry.

This move comes in the wake of rising concerns over greenhouse gases, surging energy demand and improving favorable economics of nuclear energy generation. Even with the significant capital costs required, nuclear energy's average of 1.72 cents/kWh edges out the 2.37 and 6.75 cents required for coal and natural gas facilities, respectively.

NRG estimates the plant to be commissioned during fiscal 2014, however with increased concerns over safety and a 42 month government review, the process could take much longer. Needless to say, If NRG succeeds and commissions this 2 million home reactor, the implications for the company and the burgeoning US nuclear industry will be huge.

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