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all in favor —
No new cap on costs; Southern Company would have to cover additional cost overruns.
The four owners of the new additions to the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia agreed on Thursday that construction on the two additional reactors can go forward. The agreement was made despite growing opposition among some local lawmakers and at least one community-owned utility.
The decision throws yet another lifeline to the US’ weak nuclear industry. After reactor maker Westinghouse went bankrupt last year, the futures of the reactor additions at Vogtle and its sister plant Summer in South Carolina were anything but certain. Indeed, construction on the Summer plant was abandoned due to dramatic cost overruns.
Vogtle has experienced the same dramatic cost overruns as Summer, but it survived due to political will from Georgia Public Service Commission, as well as the fact that the reactor build-out was slightly further along in its construction than Summer.
This latest agreement sets no additional caps on costs, but Vogtle’s majority owner, Southern Power Company, could be responsible for a larger share of any additional cost overruns, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Oglethorpe Power, a 30-percent owner of Vogtle’s reactor additions, was reportedly reluctant to vote in favor of continuing the pro