Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, welcomed the news today that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved license applications for South Carolina Electric & Gas to build two new reactors at the Virgil C. Summer nuclear generating station in Jenkinsville, South Carolina. These new reactors will create 3,000 construction jobs as well as 600 to 800 permanent jobs. This approval represents the Commission's second pair of new nuclear reactor approvals in two months. The license approval process took four years to complete and the four NRC commissioners voted in favor of the project, while NRC Chairman Jaczko voted against it. Prior to the Vogtle decision last month, no new nuclear reactors had been approved in the United States since 1978.
"Today's announcement that the NRC has approved licenses for two nuclear reactors in South Carolina that will create up to 3,800 new jobs is great news, especially in these economic times," Senator Inhofe said. "As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, I have been watching this process closely, and I'm pleased that after approving licenses for two reactors in Georgia this February, the NRC continues to show that it is up to the task of new plant licensing.
"But once again, I'm not surprised that NRC Chairman Jaczko opposed the license for these reactors in South Carolina just has he opposed the license for the reactors that will be built in Georgia. Yet, despite their own NRC Chairman's attempts to defeat their construction, let's see if anyone from the Obama administration comes to South Carolina to tout the 3,800 jobs and the increased energy security that these new reactors will bring. With an election coming up, I think we all know what's going to happen here.
"The good news is that despite the Obama administration's efforts to stop energy development in this country, these reactors will be built, thousands of jobs will be created, and Americans will have increased access to reliable, affordable energy."