This is a great week for nuclear energy: the NRC issued the first license for a new generation of nuclear power plant. Units 3 and 4 at the Vogtle site in Georgia now have a Construction and Operating License. These AP1000 reactors have an advanced design, based on the Westinghouse PWR, but with more passive safety features and less piping.
ANS Nuclear Cafe by Dan Yurman – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on February 9 in a 4-1 vote cleared the way for its Office of New Reactors to issue a combined construction and operating license (COL) to the Southern Nuclear Operating Company for two 1100-MW Westinghouse AP1000 model reactors to be built at the company’s Vogtle site, in Waynesboro, Ga. (NRC final order) NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko made the one dissenting vote.
NRC spokesman Scott Burnell told financial wire services that the agency will issue the COL immediately, which will kick off a huge construction boom in Georgia. The Shaw Group, which will be building the two units, announced plans to hire 3500 workers for the $14-billion construction phase that is expected to take until 2016 for the first unit and an additional year for the second.
In related news, the Tennessee Valley Authority said in a financial document issued this week that it expects to complete the Watts Bar-2 reactor in 2014 and that it has issued a construction contract to complete the Bellefonte reactor by 2020. It will start work on Bellefonte once Watts Bar-2 is done. In 2007, TVA completed a reactor at Browns Ferry.
Brief profile of the South Korea nuclear programme, and activity on restarts in Japan and Germany. Germany is not clear they may have restarted coal plants and not nuclear
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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