The country's top nuclear safety regulator warned the industry against complacency and said it must resolve several long-running issues, including fire protection and a new analysis of earthquake risks. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko told power company executives Thursday that two proposed nuclear reactors in Georgia and several others are under increased scrutiny because of safety problems.
A typical Georgia Power customer will pay an extra 57 cents next year to finance the construction of a nuclear power plant, less than the utility earlier estimated. But customers will pay steeper-than-expected charges in the following years.
Radioactive water has been found underneath the nuclear power station Plant Hatch in southeast Georgia, but officials said it does not pose an immediate threat to public health. Madison and state officials said the radioactive water appears confined to a small area at the site. They say there's little or no chance it could get into drinking water.
Staffers at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission say they believe the new nuclear reactors to be built at Plant Vogtle are safe. Approval of the Westinghouse AP1000 design sets the stage for final commission approval.
Georgia Power could earn more money if it goes over-budget building two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. Right now Georgia Power can earn up to 12 percent of what it charges customers. Plant Vogtle’s construction costs are included in that charge which means higher building expenditures could boost Georgia Power’s profit.
A plan intended to protect consumers from potential cost over-runs at Plant Vogtle is dead. The Public Service Commission staff withdrew the proposal after months of saying it was necessary for consumer protection.