US resumes building Nuke plants
This New Scientist article reports that Southern Company, an Atlanta, GA based utility has been given approval by the NRC to build a pair of reactors at its Vogtle Plant near Waynesboro.
As a side note, the Vogtle Plant complex (currently with 2 operating reactors) is named for Alvin Vogtle, a WWII POW who inspired the character played by Steve McQueen in the Movie The Great Escape.
With this approval, it is expected that the NRC will also approve 4 more reactors in the next few future. SC Electric and gas is pursuing licenses for 2 near Jenkinsville SC and 2 Florida Power and Light has proposals for funding 2 others in Florida.
All three sites are proposing using Westinghouse’s new AP1000 reactors a 1000MWe class gen III+ pressurized water reactor with a passive cooling system that can keep the reactor safe for 72 hours without power.
China was the first to build the AP 1000 with two pairs in commission. INdia is building 6 Gen III+ reactors (though different from the AP1000 design. The emerging economies are where growth in the Gen III+ (large pressurised water reactors with passive safeguards and potential 120 year lifetimes with refueling) market is projected to explode, with 65 reactor projects currently under construction and 52 countries asking the IAEA for help starting nuclear programs. The first tier includes The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Egypt was among those IAEA intended to help, but the recent unrest has shifted them to the “motivated but politically unstable” list.
Just under half of the 65 reactors under construction are in China…