The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has renewed the operating licenses for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2, in Waynesboro, Georgia, for an additional 20 years. The new licenses will expire on January 16, 2047, and February 9, 2049, respectively. The decision to renew the licenses comes after thorough safety and environmental reviews of the application submitted June 27, 2007, by the plant’s operator, Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.

The Vogtle plants are two pressurized-water reactors located about 25 miles south of Augusta, Georgia. The NRC held public meetings to discuss the Vogtle environmental review near the plant on September 27, 2007, and June 3, 2008. In December 2008, NRC staff concluded there were no environmental impacts that would preclude renewal of the license for environmental reasons.

In April 2009, after careful review of the plants’ safety systems and specifications, the staff concluded that there were no safety concerns that would preclude license renewal and that the applicant had effectively demonstrated the capability to manage the effects of plant aging. In addition, NRC conducted inspections of the plant to verify information submitted by the applicant. On April 10, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards – an independent body of technical experts that advise the Commission – issued its recommendation that license renewal for Vogtle should be approved.