Washington, D.C. – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued the following statement last week in support of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) decision to certify Westinghouse Electric’s AP1000 nuclear reactor design, a significant step towards constructing a new generation of U.S. nuclear reactors. In February 2010, the Obama Administration announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $8.33 billion loan guarantee for the construction and operation of two AP1000 reactors at Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generation Plant in Burke, Georgia.
“The Administration and the Energy Department are committed to restarting America’s nuclear industry – creating thousands of jobs in the years ahead and powering our nation’s homes and businesses with domestic, low-carbon energy,” said Secretary Chu. “Today’s decision certifying the AP1000 reactor design marks an important milestone towards constructing the first U.S. nuclear reactors in three decades.”
The Energy Department’s offer of a conditional commitment supports two new 1,100 megawatt Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors at the Vogtle plant, supplementing the two existing reactor units at the facility. The project is expected to create approximately 3,500 onsite construction jobs and 800 permanent jobs once the reactors become operational.
The Energy Department has also engaged in cost-share agreements with industry to provide technical assistance and application support for new reactor design certification, including for the Westinghouse AP1000. These efforts have served to help American companies lead the way in obtaining certification and licensing approvals, helping to streamline these processes for future investments in the U.S. nuclear industry.
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