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Nuclear Energy Institute
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2003
Contact:, 202.739.8000 or 703.644.8805 (after hours and weekends)

Early Site Permit Filings Will Clarify Untested Approval Process for New Nuclear Plants

WASHINGTON—Illinois-based Exelon Generation Co. and Virginia-based Dominion Energy today became the first U.S. electric power companies to submit early site permit (ESP) applications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to facilitate any future decision the companies might make to build a new nuclear power plant. Exelon’s filing this afternoon preceded Dominion’s by a matter of minutes.

The applications identify Exelon’s Clinton power station in central Illinois and Dominion’s North Anna power station 40 miles north of Richmond as the sites where the companies would consider building a new nuclear plant should market conditions necessitate additional electricity generation. If approved by the NRC, the early site permits will add predictability to the licensing process that the companies would face if they were to decide to build an additional reactor at the sites. The following is a statement by Marvin S. Fertel, NEI’s chief nuclear officer, in response to the companies’ historic action.

“Exelon Generation’s and Dominion Energy’s filing of early site permit applications with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is further evidence that energy companies are engaged in serious planning for the significant steps that must be taken to meet the nation’s long-term electricity needs. Clearly nuclear energy is among the sources of electricity generation that several companies are considering.

“For the past several months, the Nuclear Energy Institute has worked closely with Dominion Energy, Exelon Generation and other companies to clarify the NRC’s early site permit evaluation process. This clarification is important for an efficient regulatory process when a company decides to build a nuclear plant.

“Companies building new power plants must be able to respond to market conditions without unnecessary federal or state regulatory delay. By earning approval of advanced reactor designs and potential sites well in advance of the need for new electricity, companies can respond more rapidly to meet rising consumer demand for electricity.

“Among the clear advantages that nuclear energy offers are that it is the only large, expandable baseload source of electricity that doesn’t pollute the air.”


The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at