17 Feb 2010

Two nuclear power plants to be built in US

10:16 pm on 17 February 2010

President Barack Obama has announced more than $US8 billion in federal loan guarantees to help build the first nuclear power stations in the United States for 30 years.

Two new plants are to be constructed in the state of Georgia, at an existing nuclear plant.

President Obama said the plants would be "safe and clean" and were needed to meet future energy needs.

No new nuclear power plants have been built in the US since the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.

The BBC reports the accident was caused by a partial core meltdown of one of the reactors at the site, which resulted in a release of radioactive gases into the atmosphere.

Mr Obama said the project would create "thousands of construction jobs over eight years and then hundreds of well-paid jobs" when the facilities become operational.