Disputed Costs Now at More Than $950 Million for Nuclear Project at Plant Vogtle

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Another $50 million has been added to a set of disputed cost overruns for the nuclear construction project at Plant Vogtle.

That brings the total amount to nearly a billion dollars, some of which Georgia Power ratepayers could be on the hook for. 

The overruns are related to a delay in federal licensing. The project’s primary contractors – Westinghouse and the Shaw Group – say Georgia Power and its partners should absorb the $950 million or so in extra costs.

Georgia Power spokesman Mark Williams says negotiations have entered formal dispute resolution and may take several months to settle.

“We’re still in discussions with the contractors over the disputed amount.”

The disagreement surfaced shortly after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission okayed the project  in February.

Since then, the project has faced a series of problems involving the construction of the nuclear site foundation. Ratepayer advocates say those issues – which are separate from the $950 million currently in dispute – threaten to drive up costs and delay the project further.

Williams, however, insists the two new reactors remain on schedule.

“There’s no change, we’re still on target for 2016 and 2017.”

Williams says if Georgia Power is deemed responsible for additional costs beyond the project’s originally approved $14 billion, the company may go to state regulators and ask to recover those costs from ratepayers. 

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