The nation's first new nuclear power plant in a generation won approval Thursday as federal regulators voted to grant a license for two new reactors in Georgia.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 4-1 to approve Atlanta-based Southern Co.'s request to build two nuclear reactors at its Vogtle site south of Augusta.
The vote clears the way for officials to issue an operating license for the reactors, which could begin operating as soon as 2016 and 2017.
The NRC last approved construction of a nuclear plant in 1978, a year before a partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania.
The commission approved a new reactor design for the Vogtle plant in December.