Ohio media sources are reporting that Piketon, a small town 60-miles south of Columbus, could be in line to get a new nuclear power plant. Gov. Ted Strickland (D), Sen. George Voinovich (R), Rep. Jean Schmidt (R) and officials from Duke Energy and French nuclear company Areva were in Piketon Thursday to announce plans for the plant.
Piketon, the former site of a uranium enrichment facility, is considered highly desirable for a nuclear facility because of its high capacity transmission lines and water resources, reported the Columbus Dispatch. According to the energy companies, the plant would create 4,000 “clean energy” jobs in Piketon — impressive for a town of 2,000.
But not so fast. Though some coverage incorrectly suggested that the Piketon plant is a done deal, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would beg to differ.
“We have not received an application for the plant,” said Scott Burnell of the NRC Office of Public Affairs.
According to Burnell, the process for acquiring NRC’s approval could take up to five years: first an 18-24 month period for the energy companies to collect the information for the NRC permit application, and then a 2.5-year period for the NRC to review the application. “It could very likely go longer than that,” said Burnell.
If the Piketon initiative, led by Duke Energy, is successful, it would be the first nuclear plant to be constructed in the U.S. since construction began on the River Bend plant in Louisiana in 1977.