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Sun Dec 1, 2019, 07:09 AM

State consultants say Plant Vogtle expansion timeline 'challenged'

Delays and costs are likely to keep growing for an expansion of Georgia Power’s nuclear plant south of Augusta, according to reports the Georgia Public Service Commission staff filed last Friday.

Underway since 2013, the project to build two additional nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle is billions over budget and already three years behind schedule. Georgia Power executives assure both reactors remain on track to launch by late 2022, but the consultants who prepared the commission’s reports in the Friday filing call that deadline “significantly challenged.”

Georgia Power will be hard-pressed to meet deadlines for Vogtle Unit 3 to go online by November 2021 and Vogtle Unit 4 by November 2022, said Don Grace, an engineer the commission hired to monitor construction. Grace, other engineering consultants and PSC staff agreed in four individual reports that it’s impossible to say when the two reactors might actually be finished.

If the troubled project falls further behind and costs continue to surge, Georgia Power’s 2.5 million customers across the state could wind up paying as much of the tab as state regulators allow. The company’s aggressive construction timeline creates uncertainty, engineering consultants say.

Read more: https://georgiarecorder.com/brief/state-consultants-say-plant-vogtle-expansion-timeline-challenged/

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