The Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed Wednesday to renew operating licenses for two existing reactors at Plant Vogtle in Burke County.
The new operating licenses will expire Jan. 16, 2047, for Unit 1; and Feb. 9, 2049, for Unit 2, according to the NRC, which held a series of public meetings in the past year to discuss the re-licensing application.
The commission's staff investigated the site's safety and environmental issues and concluded in December 2008 that no issues would preclude the license renewal.
Regulators are continuing to process Southern Nuclear's application for an early site permit and combined operating license that would allow the construction of two additional reactors.
Such a project could bring as many as 3,000 to 4,000 construction jobs, with a lesser number of permanent positions once the reactors are online.
Southern Nuclear expects to earn regulatory approval of its early site permit later this year and could receive its combined license in 2011. The new units, to be manufactured by Westinghouse, could be online in 2016 or 2017.
Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119, or firstname.lastname@example.org.