After nearly 30 years, the construction of two new nuclearpower plants is now underway in the US. The construction of new nuclear power plants had halted since the worst disaster in US commercial nuclear plant history at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania in 1979.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted 4-1 in favour of Atlanta-based Southern Co to build and operate two new nuclear power reactors at its existing Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. The plant will house two 1,154-megawatt AP1000 reactors built by Westinghouse Electric—an ancillary of the Japanese Toshiba Corp. The two units will cost Southern Co’s Georgia Power unit and SCANA Corp’s South Carolina Electric & Gas Co unit about $14 bn. The plants are expected to enter the power distribution network between FY 16 to FY 17.
The projects, which being closely scrutinised by the NRC, will receive the combined construction permit and operating licences (COL) under the new set of regulations and licensing framework.