Proposed new nuclear units at Vogtle receive NRC approval for final safety report

Source: Southern Company 

Southern Company (NYSE:SO) subsidiary Southern Nuclear has received the Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's technical staff for the Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) for Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 near Waynesboro, Ga. 

The commission staff has determined the Vogtle design is safe, meets all regulatory requirements, and is acceptable for issuance of the COL. This action allows the hearing process to begin before the commission votes on the issuance of the Vogtle COL. 

"This is a significant step forward in the licensing process for the Vogtle project," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "Southern Company's strong management, financial stability and operational excellence uniquely position us to construct the nation's first new nuclear units in 25 years." 

The NRC has also issued its Final Safety Evaluation Report on Westinghouse Electric Company's AP1000 design for Vogtle units 3 and 4. This allows the commission to move forward toward issuance of the Design Certification Amendment rulemaking, and ultimately the COL to Southern Nuclear for the new Vogtle units. The report signifies the approval of the design by the NRC's technical staff. 

Upon receipt of the COL, full construction can commence at the site. Southern Nuclear has been working under a Limited Work Authorization permit since 2009, which allows for certain safety-related construction activities.
Southern Nuclear is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100-megawatt AP1000 units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the new units. 

Southern Nuclear currently operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear power units as well as Georgia Power's Plant Hatch nuclear facility near Baxley, Ga., and Alabama Power's Plant Farley nuclear facility near Dothan, Ala.

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