Westinghouse Electric Company and Blue Castle Holdings have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue the development of a two-unit AP1000 nuclear power plant at the Green River site in Utah.

The MOU could lead to a "definitive agreement" for the licensing, permitting, design, engineering, procurement, construction and operation and nuclear fuel for an AP1000 plant, the companies said.

BCH has invested millions of dollars into site characterization work at the 1700 acre Blue Castle site over the past seven years, with the aim of submitting an Early Site Permit (ESP) application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

This agreement with Westinghouse moves the project to the next phase of its development, the companies say.

"The safety and constructability of our advanced passive design, combined with the preparation and early siting work completed by Blue Castle, give customers assurance of licensability and project delivery that is unmatched by other alternatives," said Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse senior vice president, Nuclear Power Plants.

Eventually, BCH plans to transfer ownership of project to other investors.

Photo: Characterization work at the Blue Castle site in Utah