Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko waits for the beginning of a joint hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Clean Air and Nuclear Safety in December.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
Gregory B. Jaczko, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, announced he would resign as soon as his replacement is confirmed.
"After an incredibly productive three years as Chairman, I have decided this is the appropriate time to continue my efforts to ensure public safety in a different forum," Jaczko said in a statement today. "This is the right time to pass along the public safety torch to a new chairman..."
The Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan had five unplanned shutdowns last year. It's one of the area's biggest employers, and its safety record is one of the worst in the country. Now it's trying to prove to federal regulators that it can meet their standards.
On the shores of Lake Michigan, the Palisades Power Plant is tucked in between tall sand dunes in Covert Township, Mich., at the southern edge of Van Buren State Park.
Steam rises from the cooling towers of nuclear reactors at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Ga. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved Southern Co.'s application to begin full construction of the nation's first new nuclear units since 1978 at Plant Vogtle.
The nuclear industry is celebrating the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision to give the go-ahead for a utility company to build two new nuclear reactors in Georgia, the first license to be granted for a new reactor in the U.S. since 1978. But last year's accident at reactors in Fukushima, Japan, still clouds the future of nuclear power, as does the cost of new power plants.
Southern Co. will build the reactors at its Vogtle site in Georgia, where two older reactors already operate.
Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 11:33 am
The containment vessel of Vogtle Unit 3 is already being assembled.
Credit Southern Company
The National Regulatory Agency announced it had given Southern Co. the OK to build two nuclear reactors in Georgia, making it the first new nuclear power plant approved in a generation.
The AP, which reported earlier today that the NRC was poised to give its approval, reports that one of the $14 billion reactors could be ready as soon as 2016. The second reactor could begin operating in 2017. The AP adds: