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Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 3:28pm

Plant Vogtle Costs Scrutinized

A monitor for Georgia's utility regulators says he thinks Southern Co. will exceed its $6.1 billion budget building two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta.

Nuclear engineer William Jacobs Jr. said in testimony released Thursday that the utility will need to ask Georgia's Public Service Commission to raise its construction budget and formally extend its building schedule. Jacobs said the amount of the extra costs is dependent on ongoing negotiations and performance at the construction site.

Building costs are ultimately passed along to the utility's customers.

Southern Co. spokesman Mark Williams said the company has not requested any change to its project budget. Top executives have recently hinted in different forums that could happen.

Plant Vogtle is among three nuclear plants currently under construction.