Delays, mismanagement, overruns may leave Georgia Power ratepayers with enormous cost burden
January 20, 2022 (IEEFA)—Once estimated at more than $14 billion, the price tag for two new reactors at Georgia Power Company’s Plant Vogtle site has now climbed past $30 billion, and both units will be more than six years late in coming online, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
The Georgia Public Service Commission staff and its nuclear consultants have attributed the project’s massive cost overruns and repeated delays to Georgia Power’s adoption of unreasonable and unachievable construction schedules, as well as its attempts to achieve the schedules at any cost. The issues have been blamed on a corporate culture that values production over quality; poor or non-existent quality inspections; high personnel turnover; and high testing failure rates for an unproven reactor design.
Read the whole report: Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis
By Matt Kempner
12/31/21: Early in 2021, crews at Georgia Power’s nuclear expansion site at Plant Vogtle were struggling to find all the leaks in a pool built to hold spent, highly radioactive fuel.
They added air pressure under the floor of the water-filled pool, hoping air bubbles would pinpoint flawed welds. It didn’t work. So an engineer doubled the air pressure.
The result: The pool’s steel floor plates were damaged, rendering them unusable. New ones had to be manufactured. The fixes and rechecks of the pool have taken nearly a year and cost millions of dollars.
It’s been that kind of a year at Plant Vogtle. Though the expansion project was supposed to be close to completion, a series of missteps and botched jobs in recent months has led to more cost overruns, further delays and fresh worries about quality and oversight.
The project has had setbacks almost since it began. But the 2021 revelations highlight how widespread the problems have become.
Read the whole article: Atlanta Journal-Constitution