Citing low natural gas prices as being among the economic drivers, power giant Exelon Corp. said Tuesday it is giving up plans to build nuclear power facilities near Victoria, TX.

Chicago-based Exelon, which recently merged with Baltimore-based Constellation Energy, told the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it has withdrawn its application for an early site permit.

"The action is in response to low natural gas prices and economic and market conditions that have made construction of new merchant nuclear power plants in competitive markets uneconomical now and for the foreseeable future," said Exelon Generation COO Charles Pardee.

Exelon said its latest action and notification to the NRC brings to a close all nuclear project activity for the company in Texas. However, while abandoning the long-standing nuclear plans in Texas, Exelon officials said the company would remain active in the state's $32 billion deregulated power market.

Since its merger with Constellation (see Daily GPI, March 13), Exelon has substantial gas-fired and wind generation in Texas, which total more than 4,000 MW.

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