First New Nuclear Power Plant Approved in US in Over 30 Years: Full Construction of the $14 Billion Plant Vogtle Units 3 & 4 in Georgia Can Now Commence
February 17, 2012 11:08 AM | Posted by Jonathan Wells
| Topic(s): Energy Policy
For the first time in thirty years, the United States has approved the construction of a new nuclear power plant. Last week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted to approve the issuance of the nation’s first Combined Construction and Operating License (COL), which will allow the construction of the nation’s first two nuclear units in 30 years at Plant Vogtle, near Waynesboro, Georgia. The COL is a streamlined process that addresses reactor design, construction, and operation of new nuclear units all in one licensing proceeding. Receipt of the COL signifies that full construction of the $14 billion facility can now begin in earnest. Plant Vogtle is jointly owned by the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power), Ogelthorpe Power Corporation, Georgia Power, and Dalton Utilities and will be operated by Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company. The co-owners are financing construction through a variety of means, including bond programs and pursuit of loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. The co-owners expect Unit 3 to begin operating in 2016 and Unit 4 in 2017.