$10B Houston Area Nuclear Plant Expansion Clears Hurdle

NRC had raised question of partial foreign ownership.

A federal body has explained that a stalled nuclear plant project near Houston could move forward because it does not have "foreign ownership, control or domination."

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety and Licensing Board released an explanation of its earlier ruling in April that said the South Texas Project in Bay City is OK to move forward. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission had previously expressed concerns that the project violated laws that ban a foreign entity from owning or operating nuclear facilities in the U.S.

The South Texas Project, which would build new nuclear reactor units outside of Houston, has primarily been led by Houston-based NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG).

NRG previously invested $480 million into the project for two reactor units as part of the Nuclear Innovation North America, or NINA, which is a joint venture between NRG and Falls Church, Va.-based Toshiba American Nuclear Energy Corp. The Toshiba parent company is Japanese and was the source of the federal concerns.

The entire project would cost about $10 billion and bring jobs and nuclear power to the region.

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Source: Houston Business Journal