A nuclear engineer and a financial analyst are expected to testify before the Public Service Commission on Tuesday about the cost of building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, southeast of Augusta.
Gov. Nathan Deal said recently that environmental lawsuits are to blame for the rising cost of building a nuclear plant in eastern Georgia, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. Speaking to reporters last week, the Republican governor accused environmental groups of increasing the cost of expanding Plant Vogtle by filing lawsuits against the project. Deal said he found it ironic that the groups he accused of starting costly litigation were then complaining about cost.
The federal government has granted a third deadline extension to owners of Plant Vogtle to agree to terms for federal loan guarantees of up to $8.3 billion to help finance two new nuclear reactors in Georgia.
A utility says a first-of-its-kind nuclear plant under construction in eastern Georgia will go over budget. Atlanta-based Southern Co. said Thursday that finishing Plant Vogtle will now cost an estimated $6.85 billion, up from $6.11 billion.
The country's top nuclear regulators are holding a first-of-its-kind meeting. The mandatory meeting of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission comes before voting later this year or early next year on whether Atlanta-based Southern Co. and its partners can build and operate two more reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says he supports allowing the Southern Co. and its partners to build a new nuclear power plant near Augusta. If approved, the expansion at Plant Vogtle would represent the first groundbreaking on a nuclear plant in a generation.
Utility regulators are expected to vote on an agreement abandoning a plan to trim Georgia Power's profits if construction of a new nuclear power plant goes over budget. The elected members of the Public Service Commission plan to vote on the deal Tuesday morning. The agreement was negotiated last month between PSC staff members and the utility. It calls for dropping a plan that would have trimmed Georgia Power's profits if the construction of two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta costs the Southern Co. subsidiary more than $6.4 billion.