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AWEA's New Market Report Shows Modest Growth in Wind Generating Capacity for the U.S. in 2014

LCG, January 29, 2015-The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) yesterday released its U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2014 Market Report. According to AWEA, the new wind power capacity installed last year is nearly five times greater than that installed in 2013. Although more capacity was installed in 2014 than 2013, the annual capacity addition is less than half the record of 13,000 MW that was installed in 2012.

GRDA Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for Combined Cycle Project at Grand River Energy Center in Oklahoma

LCG, January 27, 2015-The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) held the groundbreaking ceremony on January 23 for its combined cycle project at the Grand River Energy Center in Chouteau, Oklahoma. The 495-MW, gas-fired generation project is estimated to cost $297 million and is scheduled for completion in early 2017.

Industry News

NRC Approves Rule to Amend AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design

LCG, December 26, 2011--The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Wednesday voted to approve a rule that certifies an amended version of Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor design for use in the United States. NRC certification, in the form of a final rule, means the design meets the NRC's applicable safety requirements.

The NRC will make the rule immediately effective once it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected to be published within seven business days of the vote. The application to amend the 1,100-MW, electric pressurized-water reactor with passive safety features was submitted by Westinghouse on May 27, 2007.

NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko stated, "The Commission is able to reach this final step in approving the amended AP1000 reactor design due to the staff?s dedicated work ensuring the design meets NRC's safety requirements. The design provides enhanced safety margins through use of simplified, inherent, passive, or other innovative safety and security functions, and also has been assessed to ensure it could withstand damage from an aircraft impact without significant release of radioactive materials."

The NRC received the original AP1000 plant design from Westinghouse back in March 2002, and the NRC issued a rule certifying the design on January 27, 2006.

The NRC is now reviewing six Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) applications that reference the amended AP1000 design. Southern Company, one of the leading applicants, is developing two AP1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. Southern Nuclear, a Southern Company subsidiary that operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear units, is overseeing construction on the $14 billion project. Southern Nuclear is working under a Limited Work Authorization permit (since 2009) that allows for certain safety-related construction activities. Southern Nuclear will also operate the two new units. Southern expects commercial operations of the two new nuclear units to commence in 2016 and 2017, respectively.




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