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FirstEnergy's nuclear subsidiary moves to consolidate control of Beaver Valley

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering approving a request for the transfer of the percentage of the operating license for Beaver Valley unit 2 reactor near Shippingport, Pa., currently held by FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiaries Toledo Edison Co. and Ohio Edison Co. to their affiliate FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation LLC.

According to a notice published in the Federal Register Jan. 23, the NRC has been asked by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. to approve the move by FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation, or FENGen, to acquire full ownership control of the reactor. FENGen currently retains 60.08% ownership control of the nuclear reactor, while Toledo Edison and Ohio Edison hold an 18.26% and a 21.66% leased interest in the facility, respectively.

Jennifer Young, a spokesperson with FirstEnergy, said in a statement that the transfer will not impact the operation of the plant or its overall ownership. As she explained, arrangements such as Ohio Edison's and Toledo Edison's leases, which were executed in 1987 and expire in June, once were a common mechanism for financing nuclear power plants.

"Our competitive energy segment [FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation] has been purchasing the output from Beaver Valley unit 2 owned by Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison for over a decade," Young said. "All of our other nuclear plants are fully owned by FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation ... and transfer of the Beaver Valley unit 2 operating license will bring the plant in alignment with the rest of our fleet."

Comments are due by Feb. 22. A request for a hearing must be filed by Feb. 13.