New Nuke Design Gets Approval (SCG, SO, TOSBF)

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved a new nuclear reactor design that clears the way for construction of the first new US nuclear power plants in nearly 40 years. Both Scana Corp. (NYSE: SCG) and Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) plan to use the new design from the Westinghouse division of Toshiba Corp. (OTC: TOSBF) to build new plants in South Carolina and Georgia, respectively.

The 1,100-megawatt plant design were first approved in 2006, but were required to meet additional rules related to withstanding an impact from an aircraft.

Southern plans to complete two new plants in Georgia by 2016, and Scana expects to get a license for its South Carolina before year’s end or early next year. Southern is also seeking a $8.3 billion loan from the US Department of Energy.