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Transition Power Development, the company behind a proposal for Utah's first nuclear plant, has landed on the federal government's nuclear license to-do list.

A brief letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission last month keeps the company's place in the line of 22 reactor license applicants in various stages of review. Aaron Tilton, the company's chief executive officer, says in the letter that Transition will apply for site approval and possibly a full reactor license by April 2010.

This "place holder" letter sparked speculation this week about the location for the proposed reactors.

Based on Transition's name for it, "the Blue Castle Generation Project," many guessed the site is near Blue Castle Butte on the southern edge of the Book Cliffs, east of Route 6, north of Interstate 70 and the town of Green River, and west of the take out for Desolation Canyon river trips.

Tilton, who also serves as a Republican state legislator representing Springville, said: "It would be a mistake to assume that's the location."

He said there are two favored sites, one in Emery County and the other "down by the border."

"We're trying to finish some negotiations on a location," he said.

NRC spokesman Scott Burnell said the Jan. 30 letter simply alerts agency staff to budget for another licensing review in two years.

He also noted that the company can either submit an "early site permit" application, which assesses the suitability of a site for reactors, or a "combined license" application, which clears a certain nuclear plant design for a specific location.

The pending applications are the first in three decades for NRC. The agency has streamlined its process in recent years to facilitate new applications.

"We're trying to provide a stable licensing process," said Burnell.

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