Georgia Power wants to proceed with Vogtle nuclear project

Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power’s recommendation to continue construction of the Vogtle nuclear expansion follows a comprehensive schedule, cost-to-complete and cancellation assessment. “These new units will provide clean and affordable energy to Georgians for more than 60 years while creating 6,000 jobs during project construction and 800 well-paying, permanent ones after”.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which originally planned to build the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at its unfinished Bellefonte plant in Alabama, abandoned their plans for the new reactors a decade ago.

Georgia Power, which owns 45.7% of the new units, has invested approximately US$4.3 billion in capital costs in the project through June 2017 and estimates that its cost to complete the project is approximately US$4.5 billion, for a total Georgia Power capital cost forecast of approximately US$8.8 billion.

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of articles that also appeared in the USA print edition of The Wall Street Journal (September 1, 2017).

“The two new units at Plant Vogtle will be in service for 60 to 80 years and will add another low-priced, carbon-free energy source to our already diverse fuel mix”, Bowers said.

“It is not a good deal for Georgia ratepayers”, said Liz Coyle, executive director of Georgia Watch, a consumer advocacy group.

Plant Vogtle in Georgia and V.C. Summer in SC were supposed to be the leading edge of the next generation of nuclear reactors in the aging US nuclear power fleet.

Thursday’s filing initiates a review process by Georgia regulators, who must approve additional spending on the Vogtle nuclear expansion. And, Bechtel led efforts to complete the design and federal license application for Yucca Mountain, a repository for used fuel from US nuclear power plants. It is counting on guarantees from Westinghouse parent Toshiba cover part of the added cost to complete the expansion. Its bankruptcy stemmed from major cost increases at Plant Vogtle and another nuclear plant in SC, which has been canceled.

The Georgia Power project, Plant Vogtle, near Waynesboro, Georgia, features two reactors, using the same Westinghouse AP1000 proprietary design and technology as what had been underway at V.C. Summer.

Regulators previously approved $5.7 billion in capital costs for Georgia Power’s share of the project.

The decision to complete the work by Georgia Power had been expected.

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