Plant Vogtle Receives Early Site Permit

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today issued an Early Site Permit (ESP) for the two new units of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Waynesboro, Ga. Plant Vogtle is owned by Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia [MEAG Power] and Dalton Utilities.


The ESP is another step in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) new, streamlined licensing process designed to reduce regulatory uncertainty by completing the process in stages. Completion of the ESP process resolves many site-related safety and environmental issues, determines that the site is suitable for construction of a nuclear energy plant and successfully demonstrates the NRC's licensing process. Southern Nuclear filed an application for the ESP in August 2006.

"This is an important step for the Vogtle project, because the demand for electricity in the Southeast, and particularly in Georgia, will continue to grow," said Mike Garrett, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "The new Vogtle units will help meet our growing energy needs by providing safe, reliable and economical electricity with a zero-emission technology. The project represents a $14 billion capital investment in Georgia that will create thousands of construction jobs and 800 permanent jobs once the units are operational."

"Receiving this ESP on behalf of Plant Vogtle co-owners is a significant accomplishment for Southern Nuclear and for the nuclear industry," said Buzz Miller, executive vice president of nuclear development for Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear. "Southern Nuclear's ESP is the first one in the industry based on a specific technology, the Westinghouse AP1000. It is also the first ESP that includes a Limited Work Authorization (LWA) which allows for certain safety-related activities to begin prior to receiving a Combined License (COL) from the NRC."

In addition to the ESP, in March 2008, Southern Nuclear filed an application for a Combined License (COL) at the Vogtle site. The COL provides one license to construct and operate a nuclear power plant. The COL application is under review by the NRC. Pending appropriate approvals, Unit 3 will begin operating in 2016 and Unit 4 will become operational in 2017.

Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, operates the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley, Ga., the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan, Ala. and the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Ga.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.

Oglethorpe Power Corporation is the nation's largest power supply cooperative with approximately $5 billion in assets serving 38 Electric Membership Corporations which, collectively, provide electricity to 4.1 million Georgia citizens. Its diverse energy portfolio includes natural gas, hydroelectric, coal and nuclear generating plants with a combined capacity of approximately 5,200 megawatts (MW), as well as purchased power. Oglethorpe Power is the nation's largest electric cooperative in terms of assets, annual kilowatt-hour sales and ultimate consumers served.

The Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) is a public generation and transmission organization providing power to 49 Georgia communities with annual electric sales of $772 million and 10.6 million megawatt-hours of delivered energy in 2008.

Dalton Utilities has operated as a public utility since 1889. Dalton Utilities provides potable water, electrical, natural gas and wastewater treatment services to the City of Dalton and portions of Whitfield, Murray, Gordon, Catoosa and Floyd counties. Dalton Utilities serves approximately 65,000 customers.

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 is consistently listed among the top U.S. electric service providers in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Visit our Web site at

SOURCE Southern Company


SOURCE: Southern Company

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