WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmental and watchdog groups are suing to block construction of two nuclear reactors in eastern Georgia that would be the nation’s first built-from-scratch nuclear power plant in a generation.

The groups say the plant should be blocked until federal regulators approve safety changes prompted by last year’s nuclear disaster in Japan.

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Twelve groups, including the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, filed suit Thursday in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 4-1 last week to issue a permit to Atlanta-based Southern Co. to build and operate two new reactors at its Plant Vogtle site south of Augusta.

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The NRC last approved construction of a nuclear plant in 1978.