Miss. Governor on New Nuclear Plants: Yes Please!

Speaking to the Southern States Energy Board Tuesday, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said his state welcomed new reactor construction.

"Candidly, we'd love to have another nuclear power plant," the Mississippi Press quoted the Republican governor as saying. "We don't have, 'Not in my backyard.' We have, 'Please in my backyard.’”

Grand Gulf nuclear plant. Source: NRCMississippi is home to one operating reactor at the Grand Gulf plant near Vicksburg. That 1,297 megawatt General Electric Type-6 boiling water reactor was first licensed in 1984. According to Entergy, an ongoing 14 percent uprate will make it the most powerful single-unit plant in the country.

A second unit at Grand Gulf was partially constructed, but the project was abandoned in 1979. Entergy submitted a combined license application to build a GE-Hitachi ESBWR in 2008, but work stalled on that application a year later when, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, “Entergy informed the NRC that it was considering alternate reactor design technologies and requested the NRC suspend its review effort until further notice.”

Also at the meeting, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said new reactor licensing should be streamlined, pointing out that the process to build a nuclear plant in the U.S. takes twice as long as it does in France.

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