Luminant Seeks to Expand Glen Rose Nuclear Power Plant

By Lindsay Wilcox
|  Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011  |  Updated 8:02 PM CDT
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<a title=Japan's nuclear disaster after the earthquake and tsunami there has some questioning plans to expand the nuclear power plant in Glen Rose." />

Lindsay Wilcox,

Japan's nuclear disaster after the earthquake and tsunami there has some questioning plans to expand the nuclear power plant in Glen Rose.


A Texas energy company said it is moving forward with a proposal for two new reactors at its plant in Glen Rose.

Luminant said it is watching the situation at Japan's nuclear reactors for any safety lessons to be learned.

Officials are struggling to address the failure of safety systems at several of a Japanese nuclear power plant's reactors after Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami. A fire flared up again at the troubled plant Wednesday morning Japanese time.

If Luminant gets approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to move forward with the new reactors, they will not be built and operational until 2021-2022.

It is three years behind schedule because of the lengthy licensing process, not the disaster at the Japanese plant.

People who live and work in the shadow of the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant say they are not worried about an emergency like that in Japan happening in North Texas.

"I don't have no problem with it," said Keith Turner, who added that what happened in Japan was weather-related.

The two nuclear reactors at the Comanche Peak are a staple in Glen Rose. The power plant is also a lifeline for many in the town, providing 1,000 full-time jobs.

"My parents are from up north, and they moved here to help build it, 30-something years ago," resident Mistie Thompson said.

The Big Cup Eatery sits just a few miles away from the plant and is a popular dining spot for workers. It also operates the facility's on-site cafeteria.

"It's a massive part of Glen Rose," waitress Connie Martin said. "I mean, without that, our school system wouldn't be what they are. Our tax base wouldn't be what it is. They help all the businesses in this town."

Since going online in 1990, unit one alone has produced enough energy to power 500,000 Texas homes every year, Luminant said.

EDITOR's NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the company that owns the Commanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant as Luminent Energy instead of Luminent. Luminent Energy is the company's wholesale marketing and trading business and does not operate Commanche Peak. NBC DFW regrets the error.

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