WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s first new nuclear power plant in a generation won approval Thursday as federal regulators voted to grant a license for two new reactors in Georgia.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 4-1 to approve Atlanta-based Southern Co.’s request to build two nuclear reactors at its Vogtle site south of Augusta.
The vote clears the way for officials to issue an operating license for the reactors, which could begin operating as soon as 2016 and 2017.
The NRC last approved construction of a nuclear plant in 1978, a year before a partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania raised fears of a radiation release and brought new reactor orders nearly to a halt.
NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko voted against the Vogtle license, saying he wanted a binding commitment from the company that it would make safety changes prompted by the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan.
“We’ve given them a license. They have not given us any commitment they will make these changes in the future,” Jaczko said.
~ It only took FIVE years to get approved! Plant Vogtle
Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant . Southern Nuclear Company of Georgia Burke County, GA