Southern Company, an electric utility that serves all or parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, has announced its intention to seek the permits necessary to site, construct, and operate a new nuclear reactor at its Vogtle site located near Augusta in Burke County, Georgia. The company already owns and operates two reactors at the site.
Southern Company submitted its application for an Early Site Permit (ESP) to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in August 2006. The ESP application is currently under review. Interestingly, Southern also filed an application for a Combined Operating License (COL) in March 2008, a year and a half before the ESP could be approved. The permit to construct and operate can’t be granted if permission is not given to site a new reactor; Southern is putting itself at greater risk by jumping the gun on the COL application. Further, by attempting to create a custom licensing procedure, the company is undermining the industry argument for developing proven, low-risk licensing formulas.
To view the ESP application click, here.
To view the COL application click, here.
If all permits and licenses are granted, construction could start in August 2010, and the plant could be operational in 2015.
Southern Company is a member of the NuStart Energy Development consortium, which is applying for COLs at the Grand Gulf site in Port Gibson, Mississippi, where Entergy is seeking an Early Site Permit to environmentally qualify the site for a new nuclear reactor, and at the Bellefonte site in Alabama, owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
If you would like to get involved in stopping the construction of new nuclear plants in Georgia, please email us and let us know how you’d like to help. We can provide you with information and strategic advice.