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Nuclear power inches back into energy spotlight

The nation’s nuclear power industry

Several companies have taken significant steps that will likely lead to completion of four reactors by 2015 to 2018 and up to eight by 2020. All would be built next to existing nuclear plants.

Southern Co. says it will begin digging an 86-foot-deep crater this June in Vogtle, Ga., to make way for two reactors after recently winning state approval, though it won’t pour concrete until it gets a federal license, likely in 2011. At least five power companies have signed contracts with equipment vendors. And Florida and South Carolina residents this year began paying new utility fees to finance planned reactors.

The steps signal that a nuclear renaissance anticipated for several years is finally taking shape. Seventeen companies have sought U.S. federal approval for 26 reactors since late 2007. All have enhanced safety features.

USA Today

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