Southern Company CEO: Here’s What Japan Means for Nuclear

Southern Company (NYSE:SO) CEO Thomas Fanning spoke with FOX Business Network about the how the earthquake in Japan (NYSE:EWJ) raised concerns about the safety of nuclear power and the company’s plans to build two new nuclear reactors in the southeast.

Fanning said that “given the events in Japan (NYSE:EWJ)” he is “more convicted than ever the United States needs to have this renaissance in nuclear energy.” He went on to say the new reactors are very safe because “they are not in a seismic sensitive area, they are not on the coastline, and the new nuclear design has safety features which do not require an external power source and would have obviated a lot of the problems in Japan.”

On plans to build two new nuclear reactors in the southeast:

“We are on schedule and on budget. Given the events in Japan (NYSE:EWJ) I am more convicted than ever the United States needs to have this renaissance in nuclear energy.”

On safety concerns surrounding nuclear power after the earthquake in Japan:

“The reactors shut down as they were supposed to. The difficulties emerged with the tsunami that took out the power source that prevented water from getting to critical parts of the reactor. When I look at the new reactors we are building in the southeast, they are not in a seismic sensitive area, they are not on the coastline, and the new nuclear design has safety features which do not require an external power source and would have obviated a lot of the problems in Japan (NYSE:EWJ).”

On company earnings being down from a year ago:

“The difference between last year and this year was the weather. Industrial activity (NYSE:XLI) is coming back even greater than what we thought. My sense is given the robust industrial recovery, we are coming back.”