For the first time in more than three decades the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted an Early Site Permit for a new US nuclear power plant. The ESP is the first stage toward a new plant and allows Exelon Generation Company to start construction work in Clinton, Illinois to determine if the site is suitable for a nuclear power plant. This is the first permit granted under a new licensing process, that was established in 1989 but had not previously been used. The initial application was filed in September, 2003. Decisions on two other plant applications are expected this year with another pending application, still in the early stages.

[US Department of Energy]

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