Reactor Design Certified by NRC; Vogtle Units Continue to Move Forward
ATLANTA, Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 near Waynesboro, Ga., took a major step forward today when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced it has certified Westinghouse Electric Co.’s AP1000 reactor design. Georgia Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, owns 45.7 percent of the new units.
The certification brings Southern Company subsidiary Southern Nuclear one step closer to receiving the first Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) for a U.S. nuclear plant.
“This is another key milestone for the Vogtle project and the nation’s nuclear renaissance,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “The NRC’s action confirms the AP1000 design is safe and meets all regulatory requirements. The commission now has all of the technical information needed to issue the Vogtle COL.”
Upon receipt of the COL, full construction can commence at the site. The NRC will determine when a public vote on the Vogtle COL will occur.
Unit 3 continues on track for operation in 2016 and Unit 4 in 2017.
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.
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 owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. 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.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements regarding receipt of the COL for Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, the completion of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4, and the expected commercial operation dates for Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4. Southern Company cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Southern Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: regulatory approvals and actions related to the Plant Vogtle expansion, including Georgia Public Service Commission and NRC approvals and potential U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees; changes in business conditions; the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings or inquiries; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4; and the ability of counterparties to make payments as and when due and to perform as required. Southern Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
SOURCE Southern Company