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Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - 4:55am

Deal Backs Nuclear Plant

Updated: 3 years ago.
Governor Nathan Deal says he supports the construction of a new nuclear reactor at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. (GPB file photo)

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says he supports allowing the Southern Co. and its partners to build a new nuclear power plant near Augusta.

If approved, the expansion at Plant Vogtle would represent the first groundbreaking on a nuclear plant in a generation.

The Republican governor wrote the letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ahead of a Sept. 27 meeting where the commissioners will discuss whether to approve the $14 billion project. His letter was publicly released last week.

Deal says building the new plant will create jobs. He also says Georgia will need new electricity sources to serve its economy and residents. Deal estimated that Georgia's population will increase by five million residents between 2000 and 2040.

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