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Ohio Governor Ted Strickland on June 18 joined executives from Duke Energy, AREVA, USEC Inc., UniStar Nuclear Energy and the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI) to announce the formation of an alliance to pursue the development of America's first clean energy park project at a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) site in Piketon, Ohio.
Known as the Southern Ohio Clean Energy Park Alliance, the partnership will evaluate the DOE Portsmouth site in Piketon, Ohio, as a potential location for a new nuclear power plant, including preparing a plant siting study and licensing documents for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
"The Piketon facility and people of this community have seen a number of partnerships come and go over the years. This partnership is different because it brings together the resources and experience necessary to transform this site into a revolutionary clean energy park," said Strickland. "The project will revitalize the region's economy, further advance Ohio's nuclear infrastructure, help address our energy needs and be part of Ohio's solution to the challenge of climate change."
"We face the indisputable fact that our nation and our world are transitioning to a low-carbon future," said Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy. "Today, with the creation of this clean energy park demonstration project – the partners in this alliance, the state of Ohio and our country, are edging a little further across the bridge to that future."
The clean energy park concept builds upon a DOE initiative to transform former weapons sites into energy parks focused on future clean energy production. Such initiatives would allow reuse of existing assets, aid in the cleanup of these sites, and support sustainable economic development for their respective regions.
Duke Energy, AREVA, USEC and UniStar Nuclear Energy are leaders in the nuclear energy and federal services sectors, while SODI has a proven record of implementing economic development in southern Ohio. Duke will manage the project, provide project oversight and serve as the applicant for any NRC licensing applications.
"AREVA looks forward to helping the Alliance develop a clean energy park that would create sustainable jobs and economic development for southern Ohio," said Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA. "An advanced reactor, such as the U.S. EPR(TM), offers many benefits to the region including providing reliable electricity to more than one million households, without producing greenhouse gases."
"We are excited about sharing our expertise in working on the site and providing the new park with the top-notch infrastructure like electricity, water, sewer and roads the park will need to power Ohio's economic and energy future," said John Welch, CEO of USEC Inc.
"We are pleased to be a part of this forward-thinking and forward-acting alliance that is ready to advance America's and Ohio's clean-air energy goals," said George Vanderheyden, president and CEO of UniStar. "UniStar's flexible business model and pursuit of standardized nuclear energy facilities enables us to bring a range of development services to this innovative project."
The alliance will work to ensure the successful completion of this demonstration project, which would establish a model for future commercial investment and cooperation with local communities and the federal government at other DOE sites. The partnership is requesting DOE funding for the initial phase of the project, which would include development of a generic Early Site Permit and review of site decommissioning plans.
DOE's Portsmouth site is located on a 3,700-acre reservation in Pike County, Ohio, and possesses many of the vital resources needed for the development of a centrally located Midwest commercial nuclear energy park.