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Plant Vogtle – Thirty-Four Years in the Making

February 9, 2012

I seem to be developing a bit of a theme in my blogs.  Almost every one of them in some way, shape, or form relates to manufacturing – and mostly to manufacturing in the USA.  If you’re so inclined, you can scan through some of my previous ones here.  Well – this blog will mirror that theme.

Today, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is approved licenses for two new nuclear reactors at the Vogtle nuclear power plant complex.  This is the first new licenses granted by the NRC since 1978… when I was 5 years old!  I don’t want to digress into a debate over the safety or environmental impact of nuclear power (though I would ask you to consider this information about nuclear safety and this information about the safety of other energy sources to challenge your perceptions).  I hope you recognize that the potential of the new plant is huge, and could be one piece of a multi-phased approach to meeting our nation’s energy demands.

So what’s that got to do with manufacturing?  The plants will cost an estimated $14B to produce, much of which will be in construction and manufacturing jobs for building the facilities.  It also makes me very happy knowing that EWI is at the leading edge of this exciting news, as is evident by the EWI-Operated Nuclear Fabrication Consortium.  We’re partnering with major nuclear manufacturers to ensure the latest technologies are developed, tested, and implemented to make all future facilities as safe as they possibly can be.

So while I am fully aware of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima, I am hopeful we will learn from the mistakes of those tragedies and focus our efforts forward – forward to become a nation leading the way in intelligent-design and clean-energy.