Southern plans to operate Hatch beyond 2050

02 September 2022

Southern Company has notified the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of its intent to apply for a 20-year extension to the operating licences of both units at the Edwin I Hatch nuclear power plant in Georgia.

The two-unit Hatch plant (Image: Southern Nuclear)

Southern Company subsidiary Southern Nuclear submitted a letter of intent on 31 August informing the NRC that it expects to submit the application in 2025.

The Hatch plant is co-owned by Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities. Southern Nuclear operates the nuclear units on behalf of the co-owners.

The Hatch plant comprises two boiling water reactors, each of about 900 MWe capacity. Unit 1 began commercial operation in December 1975, with unit 2 following in September 1979. The current operating licences of the reactors are set to expire in 2034 and 2038, respectively.

In July, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved Georgia Power's request to begin the multi-year process to extend the operating licence of the Hatch plant as part of the company's 2022 Integrated Resource Plan.

Southern said a decision on licence renewal from the NRC would be expected in the late 2020s.

If approved by the NRC, the renewal would extend Southern Nuclear's licences to operate unit 1 until 2054 and unit 2 until 2058.

"For almost 50 years, Plant Hatch has safely generated reliable, carbon-free energy, and renewing its license supports our longstanding commitment of providing clean, safe and reliable energy to Georgia," said Johnny Weissinger, vice president of the Hatch site. "Beyond the production of reliable energy, as Appling County's largest employer, we are committed to the continued support of our surrounding communities through partnerships, educational outreach and service projects."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News