Exelon has notified the USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it intends to withdraw its Early Site Permit application for new nuclear construction in Victoria County, Texas. The decision, it says, is “all about the economics.”

“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,” Exelon said in a 28 August statement.

The company originally submitted an application for a combined construction and operating license for the Victoria County site in 2008, but has never made a decision to build a nuclear plant there. In 2010, Exelon applied for an Early Site Permit, a change in licensing strategy that allowed it to continue with some aspects of site evaluation and regulatory approvals while deferring a construction decision for up to 20 years. But the recent ESP application withdrawal brings an end to all project activity, Exelon said.