For the first time since 1978, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the construction of two new nuclear power plants. The reactors, which will be operated by Atlanta's Southern Company, will be built about 26 miles south of Augusta. The $14 million plants are expected to be up and running by 2016 and 2017.
Marilyn Brown, professor of energy policy in the School of Public Policy, is an expert in energy efficiency and sustainability. She also currently sits on the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
"The Southeast is playing an important role for the nation in contributing to the ongoing viability of nuclear power, which is a reliable and cost-competitive base-load generation option. The TVA is completing a reactor at its Watts Bar plant in Tennessee, which I toured last week in my role as Chair of TVA's Nuclear Oversight Committee. The Watts Bar reactor is a re-start of a plant that was permitted many years ago. It will be the next reactor to come on line in the U.S., followed by the two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. With all of the older coal plants being retired across the country in order to reduce air pollution, nuclear power will be needed even if there is no surge in the demand for electricity."
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