Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. says confidence is high in its plans to build a nuclear power plant in Idaho following a number of successes for the nuclear industry as a whole in 2012. Successes include construction commencement on five new reactors and four additional reactor license approvals are expected in 2013 from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
New reactors under construction include two in Georgia at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, two in South Carolina at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, and one in Tennessee at Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station. The four expected NRC approvals include two reactors in Florida with Progress Energy, which is proposing a new plant on a currently undeveloped site, and two proposed reactors at Duke's Lee Station in South Carolina.
Another key component for AEHI is the recent designation for Idaho State University making its Energy Systems Technology and Education Center (ESTEC) the Northwest Regional Center of Excellence for Nuclear Education and Training by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). According to ISU, ESTEC, through ISU's College of Technology will soon begin coordinating the nuclear energy education and training for technicians in a nine-state region.
The achievement is viewed as a beneficial component to the future of AEHI's Idaho Energy Complex, since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires a comprehensive plan for training personnel prior to the approval and construction of a nuclear power plant.
In June 2011 Payette County Board of Commissioners granted AEHI its local siting approval to build a proposed nuclear power plant. The recent announcement from ISU now sets the stage for supporting the Federal approval process, which the company plans to enter following a required environmental study that it plans to implement in 2013.
In other national nuclear power news the Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority funding to develop, license, and implement Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in the United States.
Also negotiations to approve an $8.3 billion federal loan guarantee for the construction of Southern Company's two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia is expected to be finalized in the near future. The Federal Loan Guarantee program was established in August 2011.