US to build first nuclear reactors in a generation

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled a vote for February 9th on Southern Co. (SO)’s application for the first construction permit to build nuclear reactors in more than 30 years.

The NRC’s announcement, posted today on the agency’s website, is required seven days before a public meeting. The Nuclear Energy Institute expects the application to be approved, reports Bloomberg.

Southern is planning to build two reactors at its Vogtle power plant, about 26 miles (42 kilometers) southeast of Augusta, Georgia. The Atlanta-based company said the first unit would be in operation by 2016 with the second reactor working a year later. Construction will cost about $14bn.

The NRC also is considering a license for Scana Corp. (SCG) of Cayce, South Carolina, to build two reactors at an existing plant, as the agency weighs new safety rules for the U.S. nuclear-power industry after Japan’s disaster last year.

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