LCG, August 4, 2011–Southern Company announced yesterday that its subsidiary, Southern Nuclear, received a schedule for the completion of the licensing process for Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The action by the NRC supports the issuance of a Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) near the end of this year, and Southern Company expects commercial operation of the two new nuclear units in 2016 and 2017.
The COL Final Safety Evaluation Report is now scheduled to be issued this month, and the completion of the mandatory hearing process is scheduled for this December. Once the COL is issued, full construction can begin. Southern Nuclear has been working under a Limited Work Authorization permit since 2009 that allows for certain safety-related construction activities. Southern Nuclear is now overseeing construction and will operate the two new units, along with the two existing units it currently operates.
The Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO stated, “This action provides clarity and certainty toward the historic issuance of a license for the first new nuclear units approved for construction in the U.S. in more than 25 years. We can see the COL finish line from here as we head into the final stages of the licensing process.”
The $14 billion project, located near Waynesboro, Georgia, includes the construction of two 1,100-MW, AP1000 units for Georgia Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC), the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG), and Dalton Utilities.