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Environmentalists try to block nuclear growth in Texas via Victoria Advocate

WADSWORTH – One of the largest nuclear power facilities in North America is set to double in size.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently gave the South Texas Project the green light to build two new reactors at its plant between Bay City and Palacios. The company is holding off on building the reactors because of low natural gas prices and a lack of demand for new energy in Texas.

But state environmental groups want the company’s licenses yanked. They say the licenses violate the Atomic Energy Act, which prohibits foreign control or domination of a U.S. nuclear project.

The reason why foreign countries are not allowed to control a U.S. nuclear power plant is to ensure that the country’s power supply cannot be held hostage by a country that could become an enemy in the future, said Tom “Smitty” Smith, the director of the Public Citizen’s Texas office.

Nuclear Innovation North America is the company that secured the licenses for STP.

The company is 90 percent owned by NRG Energy, an American company, and 10 percent owned by Toshiba, a Japanese company, said Mark McBurnett, the CEO of Nuclear Innovation North America.

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