Nuclear reactors proposed by Southern pass safety evaluation

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission completed its final safety evaluation report (FSER) for a limited work authorization (LWA) and combined licenses (COL) for Southern Co.’s (NYSE: SO) proposed 1,100 MW Westinghouse AP1000 Vogtle Units 3 and 4 reactors.

The NRC concluded that no safety aspects would preclude issuing the LWA and COL that will allow Southern to build and operate the reactors.

Southern Nuclear Operating Co. submitted its COL application for Vogtle on March 28, 2008 and is applying for permission to build and operate two 1,100 MW AP1000 reactors at the Vogtle site adjacent to the company’s existing reactors.

The FSER and final supplemental environmental impact statement (FSEIS) will be provided to the Commission for a mandatory hearing, expected to take part this fall as part of the licensing process. In the mandatory hearing, the Commission will determine whether the staff’s review has been adequate to support the findings necessary to issue a COL. Because the Vogtle COL application references an amended AP1000 design, the Commission also must complete the certification process for that design before it can render a decision on Vogtle the COL.

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