Westinghouse Electric Company and Shaw Group’s power group nuclear division received full notice to proceed from operator Southern Nuclear on its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for two Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear power units and related facilities.

On March 17, 2009, the Georgia Public Service Commission certified Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power Company to build units 3 and 4 at the existing Vogtle Electric Generating Plant site near Augusta, Ga. The plant is also owned by Oglethorpe Power, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia [MEAG Power] and Dalton Utilities. The notice to proceed fully authorizes Shaw to begin EPC services for the plant.

“This marks a significant milestone not only for Shaw, but for the entire U.S. nuclear industry,” said J.M. Bernhard Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Shaw. “We are poised to break ground on one of the first new U.S. nuclear construction projects in more than 30 years, which will offer the world’s most advanced reactor technology.”

Shaw and Westinghouse currently are providing engineering, design, procurement and project management services for the nuclear island for four AP1000 units in China, and at least 14 new AP1000 units – including the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant – are being planned by U.S. electric utilities, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Six of these units are now under contract with the Westinghouse/Shaw Consortium. Shaw and Westinghouse’s history of collaboration in the nuclear industry dates back to the design and construction of the first US commercial nuclear power plant at Shippingport, Penn.

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