Southern Company has spent $1.8 billion dollars so far on two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. The once-secret number was revealed at a public hearing on the project's cost, estimated at $6 billion. The Public Service Commission is overseeing construction costs at the nation's first new nuclear reactors in three decades.
Nuclear power plant expansions are moving forward in the South while they are stalled or have been scrapped in other parts of the country. The South's politics have a lot to do with that trend. Lawmakers here prefer regulated markets and smooth the way for expensive new reactors.