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US okays two new nuclear power reactors for first time since 1978

Washington, Fri, 10 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 10(ANI): The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has permitted construction and operating license for two new nuclear power reactors for the first time since 1978 at a site in eastern Georgia.


It gave Southern Co. the go-ahead to build two new units at its existing Vogtle site in Georgia as the commission voted 4-1 in favor, with NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko casting the solitary vote against granting the license.


Jaczko said he wanted guarantee that new reactors would be tailored to meet suggestions made by the agency's task force on the disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last year.


"I think this license needed something that ensured that the changes as a result of Fukushima would be implemented. It's like when you go to buy a house and the home inspector identifies things that should be fixed. You don't go to closing before those things are fixed," The Washington Post quoted Jaczko, as saying.


Southern Co, which filed its license application in March 2008, said it expects the project to cost about 14 billion dollars.


It will utilize Toshiba's AP1000 reactors, the design of which the NRC certified in December, and it hopes to bring them online in 2016 and 2017.


But the new reactors aren't no longer seen, as the start of what the industry once envisaged would be a nuclear renaissance.


Ten anti-nuclear groups have declared to file suit against the NRC if it endorses the license as expected.


The groups said the main argument point is that the agency broke the law by failing to consider the full lessons of the Fukushima disaster.


Four reactors were badly damaged in an earthquake and tsunami during the Fukushima disaster. (ANI)


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