Georgia Power Makes A Deal On Plant Vogtle, But Plant's Future Unclear | WABE 90.1 FM

Georgia Power Makes A Deal On Plant Vogtle, But Plant's Future Unclear

Jun 12, 2017

Toshiba has guaranteed more than $3 billion related to construction costs at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle. The future of the nuclear expansion at the power plant, which is near Augusta, has been – and still is – up in the air since the Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse declared bankruptcy earlier this year.

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“We are happy to have Toshiba’s cooperation in connection with this agreement which provides a strong foundation for the future of these nuclear power plants,” said Southern Company CEO Thomas Fanning, in a statement on Friday.

Southern Nuclear and Georgia Power, which are both subsidiaries of Southern Company, are also taking over project management of the nuclear expansion from Westinghouse.

The Toshiba deal was vital to finishing construction of the two new nuclear reactors at Vogtle, said Stan Wise, chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission, which regulates Georgia Power.

“We could not have considered going forward with the construction completion of Vogtle 3 and 4 without the benefit of that guarantee,” Wise said.

Georgia Power owns Plant Vogtle with three other Georgia utilities. The expansion, which was to add two new nuclear reactors at the plant, was running years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget before Westinghouse’s bankruptcy. The nuclear company puts some of the blame for its financial problems on cost overruns at Plant Vogtle and another new nuclear project in South Carolina.

Georgia Power is now conducting an analysis on what it will cost and how long it will take to complete the nuclear expansion project. Southern Company CEO Fanning told shareholders that he expects that analysis to be complete in August.

WABE staff reporter Elly Yu and WABE senior editor Susanna Capelouto contributed to this report.