Southern Co.

New nukes for America

January 26, 2012: 5:00 AM ET
Southern Co. is building the foundations for its two new nuclear reactors in Georgia.

Southern Co. is building the foundations for its two new nuclear reactors in Georgia.

FORTUNE -- The disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant last March set off a global reassessment of the technology. Germany and Switzerland plan to mothball their reactors, while China and India will push ahead. Meanwhile, the NRC just approved a new reactor design, a crucial step in Southern Co.'s bid to build the first reactor in the U.S. in 30 years. The new units at the Georgia plant (above) will power some 500,000 homes. --Anne VanderMey

By the numbers

$14 billion: The cost to build the two Georgia reactors. Southern Co., which owns 46% of the project, says ratepayers will save $6 billion over the life of the plant, compared with the cost of coal or gas plants.

73%: The estimated increase in nuclear power generation globally by 2035. Nukes' share of total power generated is projected to be 13%, the same as in 2009.

63: The number of nuclear reactors under construction today. China is building 26 while India has six under way. Currently in operation worldwide: 435.

Sources: Southern Co.; International Atomic Energy Agency; World Nuclear Association; Nuclear Regulatory Commission; International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2011 New Policies Scenario

This article is from the February 6, 2012 issue of Fortune.

  • Nukes in my backyard

    They're lean, clean, power-generating machines. But would a town really bury a mini nuclear reactor under its streets?

    By Brian Dumaine, assistant managing editor

    Long left for dead, the U.S. nuclear power industry appears poised for a comeback.

    President Barack Obama earlier this year announced an $8.3 billion loan guarantee to help the Georgia utility Southern Co. build two large reactors, and he wants to triple the amount of federal loan guarantees for MORE

    Mar 11, 2010 8:00 AM ET
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