New U.S. nuclear reactors close to construction

New U.S. nuclear reactors close to construction


NEW YORK | Wed May 4, 2011 11:11am EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) – For the first time in more than 30 years, the construction of new nuclear plants is underway in the United States despite the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima in Japan.

The accident at Fukushima Daiichi will cause the U.S. nuclear regulators to call for new inspections and additional regulatory scrutiny on both existing and new plants, but should not stop the construction of at least a few new reactors in the country, Standard & Poor’s credit analysts said on a call Wednesday.

The construction of new reactors in the United States has stalled since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

Two new projects, from Southern Co’s Georgia Power unit and SCANA Corp’s South Carolina Electric & Gas Co unit, however, are on track to receive the combined construction permit and operating licenses (COL) from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), possibly before the end of 2011, S&P said.

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