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Southern Delays Georgia Vogtle Reactor Start-Up, Increases Costs




July 29 (Reuters) – Southern Co’s (SO.N) Georgia Power unit said on Thursday it had delayed start dates for two reactors under construction at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia and that its share of costs would increase by 460 million dollars to reach an estimated 9.2 billion dollars.

Georgia Power, which owns 45.7% of Vogtle, said Unit 3 is now on track to enter service in Q2 2022 and Unit 4 in Q1 2023.

Previously, the company said the two reactors, which are already multibillion-dollar over budget and years behind schedule, are due to enter service next year with Unit 3 in Q1 2022 and Unit 4. on the commissioning date approved by the regulations of November 2022. read more

Vogtle’s reactors are the only nuclear units under construction in the United States and will be the country’s first new reactors to enter service since 2016, when the Tennessee Valley Authority completed Watts Bar 2 after 40 years of start-ups and shutdowns.

These delays and cost overruns could make it difficult for new nuclear to play a significant role in President Joe Biden’s goal of getting all of America’s electricity from non-carbon sources, like nuclear and renewables. , by 2035.

When Georgia approved Vogtle’s expansion in 2009, the two 1,117-megawatt Westinghouse AP1000 reactors were expected to cost around $ 14 billion in total and go into service in 2016 and 2017.

Some analysts estimate total costs have swelled to more than $ 27 billion following delays related to the pandemic, the nuclear accident at Japan’s Fukushima power plant in 2011 and the 2017 bankruptcy of Westinghouse, the former contractor of the project.

Other owners of Vogtle include Oglethorpe Power Corp (30%), Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (22.7%) and Dalton Utilities (1.6%).

In addition to construction costs, Southern estimated its financing costs to be around $ 3.0 billion.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; edited by Barbara Lewis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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