Senator Carper Commends NRC Approval of New Nuclear Reactors Construction

NRC moves forward with the second nuclear project in United States in over 30 years

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Nuclear Safety, commended the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) approval of licenses to build and operate two new reactors at the South Carolina Electric & Gas Virgil C. Summer site near Jenkensville, South Carolina. These projects are the second new nuclear reactors to be built in the United States in over 30 years. On February 9, the NRC approved licenses to build and operate two new reactors at the Southern Company Vogtle site near Waynesboro, Ga. Sen. Carper’s statement follows:

“I commend the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for approving the necessary licenses to build and operate two new reactors at the South Carolina Electric & Gas Summer site – the second new nuclear reactor project to be approved in this country in more than three decades. This announcement comes on the heels of last month’s approval of the Southern Company’s Vogtle site project. Like the Vogtle project, these new reactors at the Summer site will employ safety technology that provides fewer opportunities for things to go wrong during an emergency.

“Nuclear energy has helped curb our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and has helped reduce harmful air pollution that damages public health and causes climate change. Currently, nuclear provides 20 percent of our nation’s power needs with clean energy. However, most nuclear power plants are 30 to 40 years old. As nuclear plants age, we must start thinking about how we will replace them in the not-so-distant future. A renewed nuclear energy industry in this country means clean energy into the future and opportunities for American economic growth, with the potential to create thousands of short-and long-term good-paying American jobs.

“Over the years, my colleagues and I on the Environment and Public Works Committee have worked with the NRC to ensure that we have a ‘culture of safety’ at every one of our U.S. nuclear energy reactors, and we continue to make sure every precaution is being taken to safeguard the American people from a nuclear incident. As my colleagues and I work with the NRC and the nuclear industry to expand opportunities for nuclear power’s continued growth and success, we will also continue to work to make sure we have a strong ‘culture of safety’ throughout our nuclear facilities. I will continue my work with the nuclear industry, the Administration, and my Congressional colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to find ways to put this country on the right path toward a stronger clean energy future, including nuclear power.”

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