Feb. 9, 2012, is a date that will always be special to me because that is the day the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the Construction and Operating License application filed by Southern Co. for construction of two new nuclear power plants at the Vogtle site in Waynesboro.
Any day now we expect to hear a similar announcement relative to SCANA’s application to build two new units at the Virgil C. Summer station in Jenkinsville, S.C. These new plants will provide electricity safely and economically, and will replace or eliminate the need for fossil fuels to generate that power.
These developments will be very positive for the regional economy as thousands of construction workers will be employed as the plants are built. As the plants come online, hundreds of permanent jobs will be created to operate the new facilities. The big winner will be the environment, as these plants have virtually zero carbon emissions compared to the thousands of tons of emissions that are released into the environment if fossil fuels are used to produce an equivalent amount of energy.
We wish Southern Co. and SCANA every success as they blaze a trail not followed in more than 30 years. Let the renaissance begin!
(The writer is executive director of Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness.)