| March 4
March 4 U.S. power company Southern Co
said the two new power reactors under construction at the Vogtle
nuclear plant in Georgia will cost more because the units will
enter service later than expected.
In a report to Georgia utility regulators last week,
Southern's Georgia Power unit asked the utility regulators to
approve $737 million of additional costs for its share of the
new reactors, bringing the company's total to $6.85 billion.
Based on Southern's 47.5 percent share of the two
1,100-megawatt (MW) Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, the total cost
of the project could exceed $14 billion.
In its eighth semi-annual construction monitoring report,
Georgia Power said the units are now expected to enter service
in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2018.
Earlier, the company had projected the reactors would enter
service in 2016 and 2017.
The company said the delays were due in part to U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulatory changes, increased taxes,
costs necessary for operational readiness, quality and
compliance during construction, transmission costs, and legal
and environmental permitting costs.
Separately, Westinghouse and Shaw, the contractors building
the new units at Vogtle, filed a lawsuit in November in U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia against Georgia
Power and the other Vogtle owners, seeking about $900 million.
The contractors' lawsuit was over disputed costs resulting
from design changes to certain equipment and components of the
plant, as well as costs associated with delays related to the
timing of approval of the design control document and issuance
of the construction and operating licenses.
Georgia Power and the other Vogtle owners have filed a
complaint against Westinghouse and Shaw on the same issues in
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in
Augusta. The litigation is pending.
Westinghouse is majority owned by Japanese multinational
Toshiba Corp. Shaw is now part of engineering and
construction company Chicago Bridge & Iron Co NV (CB&I).
Vogtle is jointly owned by Georgia Power (45.7 percent),
Oglethorpe Power Corp (30 percent), Municipal Electric Authority
of Georgia (22.7 percent) and Dalton Utilities (1.6 percent).