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America has only one nuclear power plant in construction, and its future is doubtful

The fate of America’s only nuclear plant under construction will be decided Thursday, Washington Examiner, by Josh Siegel |  The Georgia Public Service Commission on Thursday is set to decide the fate of Plant Vogtle, the only nuclear reactor under construction in the U.S., which is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

At Thursday’s hearing, a commission made of five elected officials, all Republicans, will vote on whether to permit Georgia Power’s new plan for the project, which includes an updated cost projection and construction timeline, or to cancel it.

 Georgia Power is estimating $12.2 billion in costs for its 45.7 percent share of the project, and for the reactors to be producing electricity by 2021 or 2022.

This cost estimate is nearly double the company’s original projection, and the timeline is five years behind schedule. The cost of the project for Georgia Power and its co-owners exceeds $20 billion.

The commission’s decision will come days after the embattled nuclear industry learned that House and Senate Republicans as part of a tax reform package would not grant the extension of a key tax credit for new nuclear production that could have benefited the Southern Co. plant…….

The public power companies building the plant have asked the Public Service Commission to allow Georgia Power to recoup Vogtle’s new costs from customers. But commission staff filed a document this month arguing that customers would incur too high of a cost to justify the economics of the project.

“Assuming the project is completed, ratepayers would incur significantly higher revenue requirements and a reduced economic benefit while the company’s profits would increase,” wrote PSC staff consultants Phil Hayet and Lane Kollen, and Tom Newsome, the PSC staff’s utilities finance director.

Kurt Ebersbach, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center in Atlanta, who is advocating the commission oppose the plan, said the company’s expectations are unfair to ratepayers.

“It’s a very lopsided, heavy-handed proposal for Georgia Power to say we want the commission to approve a revised cost schedule and additional years of delay, in addition to assurances we will recover every last penny from customers,” Ebersbach told the Washington Examiner. “It’s unreasonable.”……..


December 18, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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