WASHINGTON -- Federal safety officials voted 4-to-1 to approve the first nuclear reactor construction permit in almost 35 years, overriding U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Greg Jaczko.
The commission's vote on Thursday will allow Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power to expand operations at its plant in eastern Georgia, paving the way for the construction of two new nuclear power reactors at its Vogtle site. The last such project to be approved was in 1978.
Chairman Jaczko in his dissenting vote cited concerns stemming from Fukushima, underscoring long-standing tensions on the commission over the regulatory response to Japan's 2011 nuclear power disaster.
"I cannot support issuing this license as if Fukushima never happened," Jaczko said after the vote at the commission's headquarters in Rockville, Md. (Read more...)