Ga. debates penalizing utility over nuclear costs

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 26, 2013 at 7:31 pm •  Published: February 26, 2013
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In recent filings, Southern Co. has projected its share will cost roughly $6.2 billion if the first reactor comes online in November 2016. But a monitor hired by Georgia's government has warned there could be additional delays and extra costs in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars. The company is scheduled to file an updated construction report Thursday.

Chapman's plan faces political obstacles.

Georgia Power enjoys considerable influence in the General Assembly, and Republicans have historically given the utility wide latitude. For example, elected GOP utility regulators have rejected administrative proposals similar to Chapman's plan.

And in an overwhelmingly Republican Legislature, Chapman has a single bill co-sponsor, Democratic Rep. Karla Drenner.

Time constraints are another factor.

Rep. Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta, who chairs the subcommittee reviewing the plan, signaled Tuesday that he did not believe the bill was ready for a committee vote. Martin said Chapman needed to better define what qualifies as a cost overrun. But time is getting short. The bill would have to be adopted by a committee and be approved by the entire House in six legislative days or else it fails for the year.

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Follow Ray Henry on Twitter: http://twitter.com/rhenryAP.