First US Nuclear Reactors Approved Since Three-Mile Island
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved licenses to build two new nuclear reactors Thursday, the first authorized in over 30 years.
The reactors are being built in Georgia by a consortium of utilities led by Southern Co. (SO, Fortune 500) They will be sited at the Vogtle nuclear power plant complex, about 170 miles east of Atlanta. The plant already houses two older reactors.
“Today marks an advancement in our nation’s energy policy,” Southern Company chief executive Thomas Fanning said at a press conference after the approval. “The project is on track, and our targets related to cost and schedule are achievable.”
The 5-member NRC voted in favor of the licenses four to one, with Chairman Gregory Jaczko dissenting.
Jaczko’s “No” vote is expected. He’s a well-documented, anti-nuclear advocate who got his start in noted environmental zealot Cong. Ed Markey (D-MA).
He’s also known for being despised by the rest of NRC commissioners; including the other two appointed by Pres. Obama.