The Atlanta-based Southern Co. needs to train 45 operators before it can start operating the first AP1000 reactor being built at Plant Vogtle (VOH'-gohl) near Augusta. That first reactor there should be complete in 2016 or 2017, depending on the construction timetable.
The utility needs 30 more licensed operators to start using a second reactor that will come online a year later.
SCANA Corp. faces similar requirements to operate two identical reactors under construction at the Summer Nuclear Station northwest of Columbia, S.C.
Training classes and simulation sessions are already under way, giving candidates virtual experience running the reactors.