Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power has received licence approval to start construction on two nuclear units at the Vogtle plant in Georgia, US.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued the combined construction and operating licence (COL) for the Vogtle units 3 and 4.
Southern Company subsidiary Southern Nuclear is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100MW AP1000 units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities.
Georgia Power owns 45.7% of the new units, with a certified cost of $6.1bn.
Southern Company chairman, president and CEO Thomas A. Fanning praised the achievement. "We are committed to bringing these units online to deliver clean, safe and reliable energy to our customers. The project is on track, and our targets related to cost and schedule are achievable," he said.
Georgia Power expects Unit 3 to begin operating in 2016 and Unit 4 in 2017.
Georgia Power president and CEO Paul Bowers added: "Our communities and our country will benefit from this $14 billion investment, representing 4,000 to 5,000 jobs on site during peak construction; and in the process creating over 25,000 direct and indirect jobs by this project alone."
Caption: The new Vogtle nuclear units will begin operations by 2017. Image: courtesy of Southern Company.