A congressional study expected to be released later this month shows that two nuclear power plants in Georgia were issued 166 safety violations between 2000 and 2012. On a national level, the number of safety violations that were issued at nuclear power plants varied dramatically from region to region. The report suggests that the regional disparities could be linked to inconsistent enforcement of regulations.
A state financial analyst says Georgia wouldn't build a nuclear power plant if it were starting from scratch. The analyst working for state regulators, Philip Hayet, said in written testimony that the total costs of building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle is more expensive than the next-best option, constructing natural gas plants.
A report filed Friday suggests it's highly unlikely the staff at the Public Service Commission will attempt to block any of Georgia Power's spending on two new reactors at Plant Vogtle until after the utility resolves a $930 million business dispute with its partners.
The Southern Co. is taking an additional $450 million in losses on an over-budget coal-fired power plant in Mississippi. Southern Co. previously took a $540 million loss on the plant. Georgia utility regulators are watching the company’s approach to overruns at the Mississippi plant as they consider excess costs at Plant Vogtle near Augusta.
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.
State regulators have approved Georgia Power's costs so far to build two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro. The Georgia Public Service Commission gave the approval at a meeting Tuesday, but also asked for new projections for when the work will be finished.
Nuclear power opponents are alleging Solyndra-style problems in the $8 billion federal loan guarantee for Georgia's Vogtle nuclear reactor project. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy says high-level political appointees have interfered with key decisions in the delayed and over-budget nuclear plant. The alliance says the project received favorable loan terms that are out-of-sync with the present market.
Building the first in a new generation of nuclear power plants could take at least a year longer than expected and involve hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs. Atlanta-based Southern Co. planned to have the first of its new reactors at Plant Vogtle built by April 1, 2016. A second reactor in eastern Georgia was supposed to start operating the following year.
Georgia Power executives say the nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle in eastern Georgia have safety features that will prevent a disaster like the one that occurred last year at a Japanese plant. But what remains unclear is how much those reactors will cost consumers.