Environment

Southern Company Subsidiary To Take Over Construction At Plant Vogtle

File- In this June 13, 2014 file photo, construction continues on a new reactor at Plant Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Waynesboro, Ga. Regulators say there's a "high probability" a nuclear plant under construction in Georgia will be delayed even longer than the three years already announced by its owners, according to an analysis obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
File- In this June 13, 2014 file photo, construction continues on a new reactor at Plant Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Waynesboro, Ga. Regulators say there's a "high probability" a nuclear plant under construction in Georgia will be delayed even longer than the three years already announced by its owners, according to an analysis obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Credit John Bazemore / Associated Press
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There is progress this week on sorting out the future of a major nuclear power expansion in Georgia.

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A subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company will now oversee construction of two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle. The U.S. Department of Energy has signed off on Southern Nuclear taking over as lead contractor.

The lead contractor on the expansion project had been Westinghouse. But that company’s going bankrupt, partially because of cost overruns at Plant Vogtle. The plant, which is in Waynesboro, is one of the first new nuclear projects in the United States in decades.

Georgia Power, which is also a subsidiary of Southern Company, owns the biggest stake in the plant. The expansion is years behind schedule, and billions of dollars over budget.

Construction has continued on the project since Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy in March. Georgia Power says it’s assessing what it will cost to finish building the new units, and how long it will take.

It says it will release the analysis later this summer; depending on that assessment, the company may or may not finish building the two nuclear units.