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NUCLEAR

Georgia Power defends 'every dollar and every day' spent on reactors

ATLANTA -- Everything that Georgia Power wants anyone to know about its Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project can be summed up in this comment from its chief executive officer: "Every dollar and every day that has been invested has been necessary to complete these new units safely and correctly. Our reports will establish that the new units could not have been built for less money or in less time than it has taken."

NUCLEAR POWER

NRC grilled on safety, efficiency at Senate oversight hearing

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission faced fire from both sides of the aisle at a Senate hearing yesterday, as concerns over efficiency and safety boiled over.

"The NRC can do better. I've seen it do better," said Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.), harkening back to his first term in the Senate in the 1990s. Then, as chairman of the Senate Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, Inhofe organized the NRC's first oversight hearing in four years to pressure the agency on its then-growing licensing delays. At the time, he called the NRC's regulatory process "out of control."

NUCLEAR

NRC launches 'special inspection' of Georgia Power reactor

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission started a special inspection at Georgia Power Co.'s Plant Hatch Unit 1 reactor yesterday after three safety relief valves failed to operate as required.

Southern Nuclear Co., which holds the operating license for the nuclear unit in southeastern Georgia, notified the NRC after discovering the valves were not functioning properly during routine testing. Southern Nuclear and Georgia Power are subsidiaries of Atlanta-based Southern Co.

NUCLEAR

TVA takes first step toward small modular reactors

The Tennessee Valley Authority is talking with federal nuclear safety regulators about building small modular nuclear reactors, the utility said yesterday.

TVA plans to file an early site permit application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in May. The permit is a preliminary step to eventually building nuclear reactors, but it does not commit the NRC to approving the project or TVA to building them.

NUCLEAR

Who's in charge when reactors have problems?

Environmentalists told Florida's largest electric utility this week that they will sue if the company doesn't stop contaminated water from its Miami-area nuclear plant from leaking into a nearby bay.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and the Tropical Audubon Society have given a required 60-day notice that they will file a citizen lawsuit against Florida Power & Light Co., arguing the utility has violated the Clean Water Act. The groups said the state has failed to do anything to penalize FPL or force it to handle problems at the nuclear plant's cooling canals.

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About this report

The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan has spawned a major nuclear disaster. E&E examines the implications for energy, the environment, security and public health.

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Nuclear Nation

Scores of nuclear power reactors dot the United States. There are 103 reactors that are licensed to operate and 14 undergoing decommissioning. Many others are in planning stages; the four furthest along in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing process are shown on this map. Click on a site icon for more details on the U.S. NRC website.

Proposed and expected to proceed to final NRC licensing

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