Southern Nuclear Operating Co, part of Southern Co, has submitted an Early Site Permit (ESP) application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its Alvin W. Vogtle plant in Waynesboro, Georgia, about 50km southeast of Augusta.
The ESP is a step on the NRC’s streamlined licensing process which allows the regulators to review and pre-approve the plant site for future construction of new nuclear units, thought to be AP1000s, and allow Southern Nuclear to conduct design, construction and other site-specific evaluations before the owners make the decision to build. Southern also plans to file a combined construction and operating licence (COL) for potential new units at Vogtle in 2008.
Southern Nuclear operates Vogtle’s two reactors for owners Georgia Power Co - the largest subsidiary of Southern Co, Oglethorpe Power Corp, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and the City of Dalton.
Southern Nuclear president and chief executive Barnie Beasley commented: “Nuclear power is a safe, reliable, cost-effective power source that has a low impact on the environment. It is a prudent business decision to preserve it as an option.”
If the agency approves the request, Southern Nuclear could reference the permit at any time for up to 20 years in an application with the NRC for approval to begin construction of one or more nuclear reactors at the site.
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