by Matt Kempner
There’s a mad scramble underway to come up with new reasons for why Georgians should continue to pay billions of dollars to expand nuclear power in the state. National security! Push back against Russia and China! Healthcare!
Seriously? Yeah, if you believe elected officials, who in the next few days are supposed to get new cost estimates and recommendations from the state’s biggest electric provider.
It seemed like only yesterday when Georgia Power convinced politicians on the Georgia Public Service Commission that a primary reason for expanding Plant Vogtle was because it was the cheapest way to cool our homes, charge our iPhones and keep industry chugging.
Proponents can no longer say that without twitching.
Four years ago, the PSC’s outside financial monitor warned that because of cheap natural gas and, to some extent, rising Vogtle costs, “if a decision had to be made today to build a new nuclear project, it would not be justified on the basis of these results.”
by Anne Maxwell
WAYNESBORO, Ga. 5/8/17: The construction of two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle is years behind schedule and billions over budget. Last month, the contractor, Westinghouse Electric, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Plant Vogtle employees hundreds of people in Burke County and the temporary contract with Westinghouse expires Friday, which means the project’s future after that is up in the air.
An attorney for Georgia Power, which is one of the main owners of Plant Vogtle, has said all options are on the table. They could totally shut down the project, or build only one of the two reactors they are currently constructing. There has also been talk of converting it to a natural gas plant, but it is not clear whether that would be economical. Or they could continue building despite even higher costs.
But no matter what happens, Georgia Power is still going to make a profit.
by Kristi Swartz
4/14/17: Scana Corp. executives might extend a contract with Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC as the utility decides whether to complete its multibillion-dollar nuclear power expansion in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, Southern Co.’s Georgia Power unit has yet to decide whether it needs more time to figure out how to proceed with its twin reactors under construction in Georgia.
by Russell Grantham
ATLANTA 3/30/17: A day after its key contractor filed bankruptcy, Georgia Power said Thursday it is looking at all options for what to do with its unfinished Plant Vogtle nuclear project.
“Every option is on the table,” Georgia Power attorney Kevin Green told members of the Georgia Public Service Commission, which regulates the Atlanta-based utility.
Westinghouse Electric, which is supplying the reactors and overseeing construction of two new reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta, filed for Chapter 11 Wednesday, largely as a result of billions in losses on the Vogtle project and another in South Carolina.
by Walter C. Jones
ATLANTA 1/23/16 — Georgia Power Company wants regulators to bless its share in more than $900 million in cost overruns incurred so far in building two nuclear reactors at the Plant Vogtle generating facility near Augusta.
The company denies its request amounts to approval of the overruns. At least one regulator said his agency can ignore the request until the reactors are generating electricity. And he estimates the impact of the request to be as high as $2.5 billion in added costs to electricity customers.
Company lawyers filed a formal request Thursday seeking approval by the Public Service Commission of the utility’s contract with the new builders.
Georgia Power, which owns 45.7 percent of Vogtle, and the utilities that own the rest of the plant signed an agreement with Westinghouse and with Chicago Bridge & Iron’s Stone & Webster division to design and build two reactors for $6.8 billion. Various problems led to delays and cost overruns, prompting the owners and the builders to sue each in other in 2013 over who would pay the added costs.