NRC promises residents safe operation of Plant Vogtle reactors - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

NRC promises residents safe operation of Plant Vogtle reactors

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BURKE COUNTY, GA (WFXG) -

Taking her first tour of Plant Vogtle, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison MacFarelane promised the nuclear safety agency will monitor the construction of two new nuclear reactors at the site.

"We'll continue to be vigilant over the construction activities and the operating reactors and ensure that they operate safely," Macfarlane said.

Southern Company is building the area's first nuclear reactors in 30 years. Units 3 and 4 are expected to generate electricity for the state. U.S. Congressman John Barrow says the project will bring economic growth to our area.

"Not just the 5,000 construction jobs that'll take place while this operation; this construction project is at its peak, but also the 800 good-paying jobs over the lifetime of the facility," Congressman Barrow said.

Even though Plant Vogtle is making progress with construction, several local residents have concerns with the project.

"We have lots of concerns on the impact of the river," said Courtney Hanson, a local resident.

A group of locals say they're against the project, and say Georgians don't understand this project is a gamble.

"The people of Georgia, according to the agreement will be 100 percent responsible to pay southern company for all their costs," said Steve Willis, a local resident.

The projected $14 billion project is already over budget, steadily approaching $15 billion. Others are more concerned with the environmental risks the area is taking.

"The health of the river, and of course that impacts the health of the farming, and of the folks that are living on the river, eating out of the river, etc," Hanson said.

Which is what the NRC says they're going to commit to keeping safe, as southern company moves forward with the project.

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