The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday renewed the operating licenses for Southern Co's (SO.N) Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia for an additional 20 years.
The new licenses for Units 1 and 2 will expire on Jan. 16, 2047, and Feb. 9, 2049. Southern submitted the application for the new licenses in June 2007.
The Vogtle units represent the 53rd and 54th reactor licenses renewed by the NRC. Twelve other applications are under review.
Southern's Southern Nuclear Operating Co operates the station for its owners, including Southern's Georgia Power (45.7 percent), Oglethorpe Power Corp (30 percent), Municipal Electrical Authority of Georgia (22.7 percent) and the City of Dalton (1.6 percent).
The 2,301 MW Vogtle station is in Waynesboro in Burke County about 105 miles southwest of Columbia, South Carolina. There are two units at the station: the 1,152 MW Unit 1, which entered service in 1987, and the 1,149 MW Unit 2 (1989).
One MW powers about 500 homes in Georgia.
In March 2009, Georgia regulators certified Georgia Power's plan to build two new reactors at Vogtle at a cost to Southern of about $6.4 billion.
That plan includes construction work in progress (CWIP) financing, which will allow Southern to recover costs from customers while developing and building the new reactors starting in 2011.
Without cost recovery, Georgia Power has said its part of the cost would be about $6.4 billion. With cost recovery, the company has said its costs would be closer to $4.4 billion.
Electricity traders estimated the total cost of the new reactors would be about $8.8 billion, or $4,000 per kilowatt.
In April 2008, Georgia Power, Toshiba Corp (6502.T)/Shaw Group Inc's (SGR.N) Westinghouse Electric Co and Shaw's Stone & Webster subsidiary agreed to build two Westinghouse 1,100 MW AP1000 reactors at Vogtle.
In March 2008, Southern applied with the NRC to build two new reactors at Vogtle. The NRC, which accepted the application in May 2008, expects to take about 42 months to hold a hearing and make a decision.
Georgia Power has said the new reactors could enter service in 2016 and 2017.
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