- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2005

BLOOMBERG NEWS

General Electric Co., the world’s biggest maker of power-plant equipment, said it sought formal certification from regulators for its new nuclear reactor design, another step toward construction of the first U.S. plants in 30 years.

General Electric’s 19-chapter, 7,500 page application for its 1,500-megawatt reactor was submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission last Wednesday, the company said in a statement. GE and British Nuclear Fuels Plc’s Westinghouse were hired by NuStart LLC, a group of U.S. utilities formed in 2004, in May to design reactors.

The reactors would meet rising power demand amid soaring energy prices and criticism against gas emissions, which are blamed for global warming. Existing nuclear plants produce power more cheaply because of lower fuel costs compared with coal and gas. GE estimates construction of a plant using its new design could begin in 2010, with commercial operation in 2014.

The U.S. Department of Energy agreed to pay half the design costs, NuStart said in May.

Nuclear plants generate power using heat from the decay of radioactive fuel, a process that produces no carbon dioxide, unlike the burning gas or coal for heat. Carbon dioxide is blamed for global warming.

GE, based in Fairfield, Conn., calls its design the economic simplified boiling water reactor. It said the submission to the regulators culminated 10 years of design work.

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