February 9th, 2012
04:02 PM ET

First new nuclear reactors OK'd in over 30 years

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved licenses to build two new nuclear reactors Thursday, the first authorized in over 30 years.

The reactors are being built in Georgia by a consortium of utilities led by Southern Co. They will be sited at the Vogtle nuclear power plant complex, about 170 miles east of Atlanta. The plant already houses two older reactors.

"Today marks an advancement in our nation's energy policy," Southern Company chief executive Thomas Fanning said at a press conference after the approval. "The project is on track, and our targets related to cost and schedule are achievable."

The five-member NRC voted in favor of the licenses four to one, with Chairman Gregory Jaczko dissenting.

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Filed under: Energy • Nuclear
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Mary

    @ banasy, But do you see the point I made in my last post?

    February 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Sure I do, but neclear energy is hard to put in gas tanks...

      February 10, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      @ banasy, HA HA 😉

      February 10, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mary

    And let me make it clear, the crude oil pipelines that I'm taking about are of DOMESTIC origin. The ones coming from Canada are basically running from Vancouver to my neighborhood in NY

    February 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    Scarey thought aint it mary and banasy? If the terrorists dont blow us up we will do it to ourselves!

    February 9, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mary

    LMAO chrissy, But why are the Nuclear power plants and the pipelines all situated on or near the east coast? This is coincidence folks.
    I gotta go to bed. See tomorrow night guys.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    yup me too, g nite all.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hamsta

    Greener than solar panels or wind turbines.wind turbines kill birds and solar panels contain hazardous materials which require batteries that also contain hazardous materials.

    February 10, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    @ hamsta, dont nuclear reactors kill EVERYTHING? Human, animal and nature?

    February 10, 2012 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Yes, of course, chrissy, which doesn't make for green at all, but a vast, barren wasteland...

      February 10, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Greek American

    I think it's true that most of these alternative energy sources have their downfalls. However, according to the show I watched, it seems that things like natural gas are not cost efficient and can actually cause harm to people and land, and not to mention it's not safe at all.
    The one weird thing they showed though is a nuclear plant that was built some decades ago but never completed because of what happened at 3-mile island. Well they are now continuing construction on it, but all the controls and dials and everything in the control room are from that era. Nothing is digital at all. They said they have to use those old parts for some reason. Weird.

    February 10, 2012 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Tesla

      Actually, if you study engineering, you'll find that analog displays are more accurate, due to a lack of discrete significant figures that digital requires. Ever seen a digital sensor bounce between numbers? That's because it can't nail down where the value is, due to delays and sampling rates. Analog sample in real time. For accuracy, always take analog.

      February 13, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. fernace

    The reason for using the old machinery is "cost effectiveness" ie, they don't want to spend the $$ it takes to upgrade! Which leads us to safety concerns! If new technology can make these reactors "safer" (that's got to be an oxymoron, right), & they want to build them w/in 7 mi of neighborhoods, they certainly need to upgrade those safety mechanisms! We can hardly compare wind or solar power "destruction" to what nuclear power can do to a city, like render it a hole in the ground! I'm against taking this type of risk in the name of $$ & energy, especially if proponents wont consider the risks or upgrade safety precautions!!

    February 10, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well fernace, if they're going to do that, they may as well put Homer Simpson in charge...

      February 10, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • TBar

      I don't expect everyone to agree with an energy portfolio that relies on nuclear power, but how do you qualify these statements? Analog instrumentation is used because it is proven reliable technology, and being infinitely variable it is much better for trending parameters. Also, the plants you are referring to are installing updated digital turbine controls and protection systems.

      You can't significantly deviate from the license design of the plant during construction. Each system is highly regulated by a license agreement approved by local, state, and federal authorities. You can't just change the plant design.

      Also, nuclear plants can't level a city. Nuclear bombs do that. They are very different.

      February 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    @ banasy
    that's a good one. God knows we have enough of those up on the Hill.

    @ fernace

    Agree. Upgrades and safety precautions at the existing plants are already a big '?'.

    February 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. James Boyd

    Can't wait for fusion power. that carbon crap is beginning to clog everything-going to nuclear fission-just hope I can figure how to make this tool work-erggggg-

    February 15, 2012 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
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