Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle near Augusta
WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators have approved licenses to build two new nuclear reactors in Georgia -- the first to be authorized in more than 30 years.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted Thursday on Atlanta-based Southern Co.'s request to build two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in eastern Georgia.
The $14 billion reactors could begin operating as soon as 2016 and 2017.
The NRC last approved construction of a nuclear plant in 1978, a year before a partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania raised fears of a radiation release and brought new reactor orders nearly to a halt.
The NRC approved a new reactor design for the Vogtle plant in December. Utility companies in Florida and the Carolinas also plan new reactors that use the same design.