WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The announcement today by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it has approved the combined construction and operating license for Southern Nuclear's Plant Vogtle expansion project in Georgia is welcome news to America's Building Trades Unions. Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is making preparations to build two Westinghouse Electric Co. AP1000 reactors at the Vogtle site near Augusta, Ga.
The two new units represent a $14 billion capital investment in Georgia and will create 3,500 construction jobs and 800 high-paying permanent jobs.
Following is a statement from Mark H. Ayers, President of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.
"Today is an historic day. With its approval of the construction and operating license for Plant Vogtle, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent a strong and unmistakable signal that nuclear energy will now assume an important role in a low-carbon energy future. America's Building Trades Unions are extremely pleased that nuclear power will once again maintain an essential and expanded role in America's energy portfolio, and we are proud to be partnering with Southern Company to create thousands of middle class jobs that will strengthen and enhance the economic vitality of communities in and around the Vogtle site. Indeed, Southern Company is a symbol for what our nation needs most right now - an American company striving to create and sustain jobs and careers for American workers.
"But this is just the first step. The Department of Energy still must finalize the clean energy loan guarantee awarded by the Obama Administration before the full benefits of the project can be realized.
"A revitalized nuclear industry is necessary to reduce greenhouse gases and to lessen our dependence upon foreign-supplied energy. Our unions are determined to assist the industry, as well as appropriate government entities, to ensure that this resurgence is a success story; not only for the electric utility industry, but for the nation as a whole.
"America's Building Trades Unions are constantly seeking new and innovative ways of producing more favorable outcomes for the construction users and contractors with whom we work; and to develop opportunities and pathways for lifetime careers for American workers who possess the discipline and determination to help re-build America and make a difference in this world. The resurrection of the American nuclear energy industry, beginning with the Plant Vogtle project, will allow us to further those objectives in many ways."
The Building and Construction Trades Department is an alliance of 13 national and international unions that collectively represent over 2 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada
SOURCE Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO