New Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Dale E. Klein says NRC is expecting license applications for up to 27 new reactor units and he wants to cut the time it takes to review them. Klein says building a plant can take 48 months, but NRC reviews of license applications can take 42 months. That includes 30 months for technical analysis and 12 months for hearings, he told an Aug. 30 briefing hosted by Platts, which like ENR, is a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

"We will be looking at ways we can expedite the process with no compromise on safety," Klein says. He also favors standardizing nuclear powerplants. Klein, who be-gan his new job July 1, was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's assistant for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs.