First reactor at Georgia nuclear power plant likely delayed

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September 9 - The first reactor at the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia will likely be delayed beyond the initial estimate of Southern Co., according to the advisers to the Georgia Public Service Commission.

It is our opinion that Unit 3 COD will be significantly later than the forecast projected by the company on Jan 18, 2022, said an adviser told the commission earlier this week.

Southern said on Monday the current site work plan indicates a completion for Unit 3 in January 2022.

When it is operational, Vogtle 3 will become the first new reactor in the United States since 2016 when Watts Bar 2 ended in Tennessee by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Delays and cost overruns in building reactors could make it difficult for new nuclear to play much of a role in President Joe Biden's goal of obtaining energy from non-carbon emitting sources like nuclear and renewables by 2035.

After several long starts and stops it took more than 40 years to finish off Watts Bar 2? The Vogtle units are the only U.S. reactors under construction.

Southern also plans to complete Vogtle 4 by the November 2022 in-service date.

When Georgia approved the Vogtle expansion in 2009, the two 1,117 Megawatt Westinghouse AP 1000 reactors were expected to cost about $14 billion and open up in 2016 and 2017.

Some analysts estimate that the costs have ballooned to over $27 billion due to delays in a nuclear accident in 2011 at the Westinghouse factory and the 2017 bankruptcy of the site's former contractor.

Southern estimated the cost of building its 45.7% stake in the new Vogtle reactors at around $8.7 billion. Oglethorpe Power Corp, Dalton Utilities Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities also hold stakes in the plant.

Southern also estimated its construction funding costs at $3.0 billion.

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