Momentum for nuclear energy in the U.S. continues with the recent approval for new nuclear in South Carolina. On March 30, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted Combined Construction and Operating Licenses (COLs) for two new reactors at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, S.C. This news comes on the heels of NRC’s Feb. 9 approval of two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, making it only the second license to be granted by the NRC in more than 30 years.
Over the weekend, many opinion leaders across the nation voiced their support for the resurgence of nuclear energy in the United States. These leaders applauded V.C. Summer’s “next generation” of reactors for helping the state meet rising electricity demands and emissions reduction goals, all while enhancing the industry’s ability to safely manage extreme events.
The NRC’s approval of the reactors in South Carolina marks the continued resurgence of nuclear energy at a time when electricity demands are higher than ever, and projected to rise 24 percent by 2035. With four new reactors approved to move forward, these advanced facilities in Georgia and South Carolina will begin a new era in U.S. energy production, supporting the jobs and economic growth our country needs while preserving our air quality.
Below is some of the commentary from the weekend that has caught our eye:
“I have long pushed for a renaissance in nuclear energy. Before February of this year we hadn’t built a new nuclear reactor in the United States in more than thirty years. Now, in the last seven weeks we have had major breakthrough with the licensing of four new reactors. This is a long-overdue and much welcomed change in policy.” - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
“This decision today by the NRC is another positive step forward in utilizing all sources of energy. Manufacturers are users of one third of the energy consumed in the United States and we are the largest manufacturing country in the world. This makes having access to affordable and reliable sources of energy paramount to our ability to remain competitive…The economic impact on the state and local governments should not be under estimated. These projects will employ thousands of manufacturers and create economic activity all over this country.” – Chip Yost, Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers
“The commission has made good progress in approving new reactors, and I hope that continues. Nuclear power provides 70 percent of our clean electricity and we need to build at least 100 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years to provide the massive amounts of low-cost, reliable, clean electricity that American businesses and homes need to thrive in the 21st century.” – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
“With COLs now in place for two U.S. utilities to build four AP1000 units, it is a clear affirmation that nuclear energy will continue to play an important role in the energy mix of this country, now and in the future. Further, it solidifies the AP1000 design’s foundational role as the preeminent technology of choice in the United States and around the world.” – Dr. Aris Candris, President and CEO of Westinghouse Electric Co.
Have you heard others voicing their support for nuclear expansion? Send us your best lines in the comments section below.