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Monitor warns of delays building Ga. nuclear plant

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm •  Published: June 23, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — The companies building one of the first U.S. nuclear plants in a generation have missed project deadlines, and government monitors questioned in reports released Monday whether those delays could grow.

Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power and its partners are building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH'-gohl) southeast of Augusta using a first-of-its-kind technology. The construction project was originally estimated to cost $14 billion, but the final price tag is likely to rise.

The plant in Georgia and an identical facility under construction in South Carolina are widely viewed as tests of whether the nuclear industry can build new power plants without the big delays and cost overruns common decades ago. Total project costs could jump $2 million every day there is a delay, according to estimates released by state analysts.

Utility customers ultimately pay those costs unless regulators intervene. Still, state analysts project that finishing Plant Vogtle is a better financial deal for the public than stopping and instead building gas-fired power plants.

Georgia Power initially projected the first of the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle would be operational in April 2016, but that deadline later slipped to late 2017 or very early in January 2018. The second reactor is supposed to be complete in late 2018.

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