New nuclear reactors have been approved for Georgia. They are the first that will be built in the U.S. in over 30 years. The reactors will be at the Vogtle nuclear power plant complex, which houses two older units and is about 170 miles from Atlanta.
This type of energy is incredibly controversial, which is probably part of the reason there have been no new nuclear reactors built in the U.S. in over 30 years. Since last year’s nuclear meltdown disaster in Japan at Fukushima Daiichi following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, the dangers have been highlighted throughout the world.
One good thing has come from that disaster, though. The world has become more aware of the safety precautions needed for nuclear reactors. Hopefully these new ones in Georgia will be built with better safety in mind. Unfortunately, the chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Gregory Jaczko did not vote in favor of the project because the plans do not incorporate enough of the lessons learned from Fukushima. It seems ridiculous that these lessons would not be incorporated. The environment and people must be protected.
Of the new nuclear reactors, Southern Company chief executive Thomas Fanning said, “Today marks an advancement in our nation’s energy policy. The project is on track, and our targets related to cost and schedule are achievable.”
What do you think? The U.S. certainly has an energy problem, and it needs to come from somewhere. Is nuclear power the way to go, or is it too dangerous. Are you surprised that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved these two new units? Do you think there is such a thing as safe nuclear power?
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