Georgia nuclear plant may not start up until 2017

Associated Press Modified: November 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm •  Published: November 27, 2012
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The utility and the project contractors — The Shaw Group and Westinghouse Electric Corp. — are locked in a legal dispute over who is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in unanticipated project costs. The contractors want Southern Co. to pay about $425 million as its share of costs related largely to license delays. Southern Co. says it is not responsible for those costs.

Utility officials have said that completing the nuclear plant remains cheaper than building the next-best alternative, a gas-fired power plant. Company executives have also said potential cost increases could be offset by benefits such as federal tax credits or government loan guarantees to help finance the project. While utility executives said Tuesday they expect to get the tax credits, negotiations are ongoing over the loan guarantees.

Several protesters urged the Public Service Commission to reject the project, largely because they view nuclear power as unsafe.

"They don't know what to do with the waste," said Scout Kilbourne of Mableton.

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

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