Georgia’s nukes: ‘We’ll go on’

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Is it a ray of light for V.C. Summer?

By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ

The Georgia Power Company told Georgia regulators today that it wants to finish two nuclear reactors under construction in the state.

It’s now the sole new nuclear construction in the U.S., since South Carolina’s SCANA and Santee Cooper abandoned construction of two V.C. Summer reactors July 31, and Duke Energy abandoned planned construction of its Lee nuclear plant in Cherokee County, August 25.

Duke has also said it wants no part now of the V.C. Summer project.

The Georgia Power project, Plant Vogtle, near Waynesboro, Georgia, features two reactors, using the same Westinghouse AP1000 proprietary design and technology as what had been underway at V.C. Summer.

The reactors would come online in 2021 and 2022, at a cost of $19 billion, according to the company’s filing with the Georgia Public Service Commission. That’s an expensive bet on electricity generation.

Georgia Power is a subsidiary of the publicly-traded Southern Company. It owns 45.7 percent of the project, with the rest divided among other utilities.

Mike Couick, who heads the association of South Carolina electric co-ops, Santee Cooper’s biggest customer, speculated recently that if Southern could finish Vogtle, maybe it could take over V.C. Summer.

The Augusta Chronicle has a good account of the Georgia Power filing here.

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