Federal regulators have given Southern Company final approval to build two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission vote means the nation's first new nuclear plant in three decades will be built south of Augusta. Environmental and consumer advocates are trying to halt construction.
Nuclear power plant expansions are moving forward in the South while they are stalled or have been scrapped in other parts of the country. The South's politics have a lot to do with that trend. Lawmakers here prefer regulated markets and smooth the way for expensive new reactors.
An environmental group says, taxpayers are being kept in the dark about an $8 billion federal loan guarantee to build the nation's first new nuclear reactors in 30 years. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is suing the U.S. Energy Department over Southern Company's plan to build reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. The group's director says, they've tried for months to get information about the program, but are getting no cooperation.