If the United States is really going to go "all in," as President Obama puts it, to develop its domestic energy resources, then nuclear power must play an ever greater role. This week, the United States moved closer to that goal when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved Southern Company's application to build two new reactors at its Vogtle site in Georgia -- the first new reactors to be licensed in a generation. It's great news.
From Southern's news release, "Southern Company Subsidiary Receives Historic License Approval for New Vogtle Units, Full Construction Set to Begin":
ATLANTA, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Construction is set to begin on the nation's first two new nuclear units in 30 years at Southern Company (NYSE: SO) subsidiary Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle, near Waynesboro, Ga.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted today to approve the issuance of the Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) for Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, the first such license ever approved for a U.S. nuclear plant. Receipt of the COL signifies that full construction can begin.
"This is a monumental accomplishment for Southern Company, Georgia Power, our partners and the nuclear industry," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "We are committed to bringing these units online to deliver clean, safe and reliable energy to our customers. The project is on track, and our targets related to cost and schedule are achievable."
From Westinghouse Electric Company, a statement from its president and CEO, Aris Candris.
The granting of this COL [construction and operating license] is yet another important step in constructing the next generation of new nuclear plants in the United States. The thorough and rigorous COL review, combined with the recent AP1000® design certification help to ensure Southern and its stakeholders of receiving greater levels of safety, increased project certainty and years of reliable electricity generation. Additionally, these plants will contribute significantly to the local, regional and national economies by creating and sustaining thousands of jobs.
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