Vogtle Units Receive NRC Staff Approval for Final Safety Report

Aug 09, 2011, 17:40 ET from Southern Company

ATLANTA, Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company (NYSE: SO) subsidiary Southern Nuclear has received the Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's technical staff for the Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) for Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 near Waynesboro, Ga.

The commission staff has determined the Vogtle design is safe, meets all regulatory requirements, and is acceptable for issuance of the COL. This action allows the hearing process to begin before the commission votes on the issuance of the Vogtle COL.

"This is a significant step forward in the licensing process for the Vogtle project," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "Southern Company's strong management, financial stability and operational excellence uniquely position us to construct the nation's first new nuclear units in 25 years."

The NRC has also issued its Final Safety Evaluation Report on Westinghouse Electric Company's AP1000 design for Vogtle units 3 and 4. This allows the commission to move forward toward issuance of the Design Certification Amendment rulemaking, and ultimately the COL to Southern Nuclear for the new Vogtle units. The report signifies the approval of the design by the NRC's technical staff.

Upon receipt of the COL, full construction can commence at the site. Southern Nuclear has been working under a Limited Work Authorization permit since 2009, which allows for certain safety-related construction activities.

Southern Nuclear is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100-megawatt 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 percent of the new units.

Southern Nuclear currently operates Plant Vogtle's two existing nuclear power units as well as Georgia Power's Plant Hatch nuclear facility near Baxley, Ga., and Alabama Power's Plant Farley nuclear facility near Dothan, Ala.

With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company is the parent firm of electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications companies. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company was named the World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility by Fortune magazine in 2011, and is consistently listed among the top U.S. electric service providers in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

SOURCE Southern Company