First new US nuclear licence in three decades approved

Approval of the first new nuclear operating licence in the USA for at least three decades is being hailed as a “crucial step” in revitalising the country’s nuclear industry by […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Approval of the first new nuclear operating licence in the USA for at least three decades is being hailed as a “crucial step” in revitalising the country’s nuclear industry by an American trade group.

US federal regulators yesterday gave state utility Georgia Power a licence to build two new reactors near its existing nuclear plant.

Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, the association of US shareholder-owned electric companies said: “We commend the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for giving the green light to Georgia Power to build its new reactors at its Vogtle site [near Burke County, Georgia].

“As we move toward a cleaner, more modern and reliable electric grid that gives customers greater choice in the way they use electricity, we’ll need it all – from nuclear and increasingly clean coal-based generation to natural gas, renewables and increased efficiency.”

Approval for a licence for two more reactors are also on the cards, suggested Mr Kuhn, for power firm SCANA Corp’s nuclear plant in neighbouring state South Carolina.