Exelon submits application for Texas nuclear power plant
Exelon Generation submitted a Combined Construction
and Operating License (COL) application to the
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
seeking authorization to build and operate a new
dual-unit nuclear generating facility in Victoria
The combined license application, approximately
6,500 pages long, took a team of more than 60
Exelon employees and contractors just under 12
months to complete. Exelon’s COL application is
the 12th to be submitted to the NRC by a United
States nuclear operating company in the past 14
The NRC’s evaluation of the application is estimated
to take three to four years. A decision on the
license is not expected before 2012.
The proposed facility would be built on an 11,500-acre
site about 13 miles south of Victoria, Texas,
off U.S. 77 in southeast Texas. Plant structures
would occupy about 300 acres and a man-made lake
for plant cooling would cover about 4,900 acres.
The two reactors would be capable of producing
at least 3,000 megawatts – enough to power more
than 1.85 million typical Texas homes.
In addition to electrical power that would meet
rising demand in Texas, the plant would boost
the economy of the Victoria area, according to
independent studies. At its peak the site would
employ an estimated 6,300 construction workers
and, once operational, 800 permanent employees.
It would also increase local economic output by
$2 billion each year.
Salaries in skilled fields at nuclear generating
stations range from $65,000 to $85,000 annually,
up to double the average household income in Victoria
The proposed Exelon plant also would help meet rising
energy requirements in Texas while benefiting
the state’s environment by combating global climate
change. The plant would generate no greenhouse
gases, such as carbon dioxide. In terms of carbon
prevention, an operating plant of this size would
be the equivalent of taking more than 1 million
cars off the road.
The U.S. Department of Energy projects that the
United States will need 25 percent more electricity
by 2030. In Texas, the Electric Reliability Council
of Texas (ERCOT) projects that “base load” energy
needs will grow by 10,000 megawatts by 2014, about
the output of seven large nuclear reactors or
a dozen large coal plants.
Exelon Generation chose the GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy
(GEH) new generation of reactor technology for
the Victoria site, should Exelon ultimately decide
to build the plant. Called the Economic Simplified
Boiling Water Reactor, or ESBWR, the design is
one of the two technologies sponsored by the Energy
Department’s Nuclear Power 2010 Program.