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Uncertainty over future costs of Vogtle Nuclear Station

nukes-hungryBudget on Georgia nuclear plant level, uncertainty remains, WT,  By RAY HENRY – Associated Press – Friday, August 28, 2015 ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Power reported Friday the cost to build a nuclear plant was holding steady, but there’s significant uncertainty whether those numbers will stick.

The Southern Co. subsidiary owns a 46 percent stake in two new reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle, near Augusta. The utility now expects to spend roughly $7.5 billion to finish the project, or about 22 percent more than originally expected. The budget released Friday declined slightly from the company’s last financial filing in February. If they hold, the level spending figures would be welcome news for investors and customers. By law, Georgia Power’s customers will ultimately pay for construction costs unless state regulators object and force losses onto shareholders. However, project watchdogs say multiple problems could still raise costs.

The nuclear plants under construction in Georgia and South Carolina were approved before natural gas prices plummeted. As it became cheaper to build gas-fired plants, major power companies scrubbed plans to build nuclear reactors nationwide. If it wants to grow, the nuclear industry must prove it can build without the construction delays and cost overruns common years ago.

So far, the proof is lacking. The companies designing and building the plant, Westinghouse Electric Co. and Chicago Bridge and Iron Co., announced a new construction schedule this year that pushed back the completion of the first reactor in Georgia to June 2019, followed by the second reactor a year later. That means the construction effort is now running about three years behind schedule.

Even that latest schedule has slipped by three months……..Utilities in South Carolina building an identical nuclear plant have run into similar delays and cost overruns. South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. reported this month that its share of costs had increased by roughly $1.1 billion. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/28/budget-on-georgia-nuclear-plant-level-uncertainty-/

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August 29, 2015 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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