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Plant Vogtle construction will continue; Ga. Power customers will keep paying

Plant Vogtle construction will continue; Ga. Power customers will keep paying

Group director Ted Terry says companies are profiting despite "huge mistakes".

Construction has continued uninterrupted at Vogtle following Westinghouse's bankruptcy, with Southern Nuclear taking over as project manager at the site and Bechtel managing construction. The project's owners have agreed to new penalties for delays and cost increases stipulated by the PSC.

Georgia regulators gave the go-ahead for Southern Co.to finish the only new nuclear power under construction in the USA after it fell years behind schedule and costs soared to more than $25 billion.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is praising a decision by state utility regulators to let construction proceed on a multi-billion-dollar nuclear plant. "The Georgia Public Service Commission has shown leadership in making this complex and hard decision and recognised that the Vogtle expansion is key to ensuring that our state has affordable and reliable energy today that will support economic growth now and for generations to come", he added. "But, if they are not, or if other conditions change and assumptions upon which the Company's (Vogtle construction monitoring report) are based are either proven or disproven, the Commission may reconsider the decision to go forward".

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Commission chair Stan Wise said the decision came down to the importance of fuel diversity and the long term benefits the projecct would have on Georgians.

US senators began laying the groundwork for approving the tax credits on Wednesday afternoon, when the tax-writing Finance Committee introduced legislation that would effectively guarantee the $23 billion project the credits. Southern, which owns 46 percent of the project, said its estimated costs had soared to $12.2 billion after the plant's contractor Westinghouse Electric Co. declared bankruptcy earlier this year.

The Public Service Commission is expected to decide whether to allow construction to continue on two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, despite massive cost-overruns for the project. The remaining costs will be eligible to be added to ratebase when the project enters service and the PSC completes a prudency review. Westinghouse Electric Co., the USA nuclear unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp., filed for bankruptcy in March.


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