[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 36 (Wednesday, February 23, 2000)]
[Pages 8994-8995]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-4253]



[Docket Nos. 50-254 and 50-265]

Commonwealth Edison Company and MidAmerican Energy Company (Quad 
Cities Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2); Order Approving 
Application Regarding Change in Shareholders of MidAmerican Energy 
Holdings Company


    MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican) owns a 25-percent interest 
in Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (Quad Cities). 
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) owns the remaining 75-percent share 
of Quad Cities. In connection therewith, MidAmerican and ComEd hold 
Facility Operating Licenses Nos. DPR-29 and DPR-30 for Quad Cities 
issued by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission pursuant to Part 50 of 
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 50) on 
December 14, 1972. Under these licenses, only ComEd, acting for itself 
and as agent and representative of MidAmerican, has the authority to 
operate Quad Cities. Quad Cities is located in Rock Island County, 


    By application transmitted under two cover letters dated November 
15, 1999, as supplemented on January 3, January 5, and February 14, 
2000, and which cross referenced a submittal dated November 2, 1999, 
MidAmerican and ComEd submitted a request for approval by the U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) to the extent a 
proposed change in the shareholders of MidAmerican Energy Holdings 
Company (MEHC), the parent company of MidAmerican, would effect an 
indirect transfer of the Quad Cities licenses, as held by MidAmerican, 
within the scope of 10 CFR 50.80. The change involves the acquisition 
of all of the now publicly traded, widely held stock of MEHC, by a 
small group of investors. This group of investors consists of Berkshire 
Hathaway, Inc., and/or subsidiaries thereof (Berkshire); David L. 
Sokol, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MEHC; and Walter 
Scott, MEHC's largest individual shareholder, and/or certain Scott 
family interests; and potentially other members of MEHC's management. 
The application indicates that following the proposed change in MEHC 
shareholders, Berkshire's investment in MEHC voting common stock will 
be 9.9% of shares outstanding, the investment associated with Mr. Scott 
will be approximately 88.1%, and Mr. Sokol will hold approximately 2% 
of the voting common stock of MEHC; the latter two percentages being 
subject to slight variation in the event of participation by other 
members of MEHC management. The overall equity holdings, taking into 
account convertible preferred stock, would be approximately 81% for 
Berkshire and 18% for Mr. Scott and associates, with less than 1% for 
all others. Mr. Scott will be able to appoint four directors to the 
MEHC board, while Berkshire will be able to appoint two directors to 
the board, which will comprise ten members. According to the 
application, following the change in MEHC shareholders MidAmerican 
would continue to be a 25 percent minority owner and possession-only 
licensee of Quad Cities and would remain an ``electric utility'' as 
defined in 10 CFR 50.2, engaged in the generation, transmission, and 
distribution of electric energy for wholesale and retail.

[[Page 8995]]

    Notice of the application and an opportunity for a hearing was 
published in the Federal Register on December 29, 1999 (64 FR 73079). 
No hearing requests or written comments on the application were filed.
    Under 10 CFR 50.80, no license, or any right thereunder, shall be 
transferred, directly or indirectly, through transfer of control of the 
license, unless the Commission shall give its consent in writing. Upon 
review of the information in the application, the supplemental 
information and other information before the Commission, the NRC staff 
has determined that the above proposed shareholder transaction 
involving MEHC stock will not affect the qualifications of MidAmerican 
as a holder of the licenses, and that the indirect transfer of the 
licenses, as held by MidAmerican, to the extent such would be effected 
under 10 CFR 50.80 by the proposed shareholder transaction, would be 
otherwise consistent with applicable provisions of law, regulations, 
and orders issued by the Commission. These findings are supported by a 
Safety Evaluation dated February 15, 2000.


    Accordingly, pursuant to Sections 161b, 161i, and 184 of the Atomic 
Energy Act of 1954, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2201(b), 2201(i), and 2234; 
and 10 CFR 50.80, it is hereby ordered that the application regarding 
the proposed shareholder transaction is approved, subject to the 
following condition: Should the proposed shareholder transaction not be 
completed by December 31, 2000, this Order shall become null and void, 
provided, however, on application and for good cause shown, such date 
may be extended.
    This Order is effective upon issuance.


    For further details with respect to this Order, see the application 
for consent concerning the proposed shareholder transaction submitted 
under two cover letters dated November 15, 1999, as supplemented on 
January 3, January 5, and February 14, 2000, and the related Safety 
Evaluation dated February 15, 2000, which are available for public 
inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, the Gelman 
Building, 2120 L. Street, NW., Washington, DC, and accessible 
electronically through the ADAMS Public Electronic Reading Room link at 
the NRC Web site (http://www.nrc.gov).

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 15th day of February 2000.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Samuel J. Collins,
Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 00-4253 Filed 2-22-00; 8:45 am]