Another application was made today to build new nuclear reactors in the USA. It could result in two new pressurized water reactors (PWRs) at the Vogtle site in the southern state of Georgia.
|Bill Borchardt and David Matthews of the
NRC receive Southern's application from
Buzz Miller and Chuck Pierce.
The site already has two PWRs, which started operation in 1987 and 1989. Together these Westinghouse-design units already produce 2300 MWe, but this could be approximately doubled with the addition of two of Westinghouse's new AP1000 PWRs. Southern has not yet made a concrete decision to go ahead with construction, but has made this a possibility for coming years by applying to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a combined construction and operating licence (COL).
The NRC will now review the application alongside the existing design certification that the AP1000 design holds and the work it has already done on Southern's early site permit application based on the Vogtle site since it was submitted in August 2006. The commission is already reviewing seven other COL applications for new nuclear power reactors.
In addition to a licence from the NRC, Southern would also require approval from the state regulator, Georgia Public Service Commission, which is currently inviting bids to meet electricity demand in the 2016-7 timeframe.
"We expect demand for electricity in the south east, specifically in Georgia, to increase significantly by 2015 and beyond," said Southern's president and CEO Barnie Beasley. He added that "Submitting this COL application preserves nuclear energy as an option to meet future electricity needs."
Southern Nuclear Operating Company made the application on behalf of Vogtle's owners: Georgia Power, Oglethorp Power, Dalton Utilities and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.