FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          AT
WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 1996                            (202) 616-2771
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

                                                
     JUSTICE DEPARTMENT APPROVES COOPERATIVE ACTIVITIES OF
                NUCLEAR POWER ELECTRIC UTILITIES


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice today approved
a proposal by eight nuclear power electric utilities to pool
procurement and resources.
     The utilities propose to establish a joint venture firm --
the Utilities Service Alliance -- that would engage in
procurement for its members and would coordinate the sharing of
resources and the consolidation of internal functions among its
members.  Membership in the alliance will be open to any nuclear
power electric utility until its members own thirty-five percent
of the nation's nuclear power production.
     Members of the alliance would share resources such as
skilled personnel, parts, equipment and tools.  The Utilities
Service Alliance would also review potential consolidation of
common internal functions such as accounting, materials
management and plant security, in an effort to increase
efficiency.  All member participation in the alliance would be
voluntary.

     The Department noted that the fact that the alliance would
not allow its membership to exceed 35 percent of the nuclear
power production market meant that it was unlikely that they
would possess enough purchasing power to control prices.
     Nuclear power plants produce about 21 percent of electric
power generated in the U.S..  The eight initial utility members
account for about 7 percent of nuclear power production in the
U.S. and 2 percent of world-wide production.
     Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of
the Antitrust Division, said that because alliance members
constitute a small segment of the market and will be prohibited
from sharing pricing or marketing information, the proposed
venture "should not have any adverse effect on competition".  
     Bingaman also noted that the proposal could benefit
consumers, if the alliance passes along any cost savings they
realize as a result of increased efficiency.
     Under the Department's Business Review Procedure, an
organization may submit a proposed action to the Antitrust
Division and receive a statement as to whether the Division will
challenge the action under the antitrust laws.
     A file containing the business review request and the
Department's response may be examined in the Legal Procedure Unit
of the Antitrust Division, Suite 215, Liberty Place, 325 7th
Street, N.W., Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.  20004. 
After a 30-day waiting period, the documents supporting the
business review will be added to the file.
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