Vogtle’s future could be decided in next 30 days

[private]The future of the two nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle could well be decided within the next 30 days.

That future was thrown into doubt Wednesday when the primary contractor, Westinghouse Electric, filed for bankruptcy protection in New York.

Georgia Power officials told the Public Service Commission Thursday that they have signed an interim agreement with Westinghouse for the company to continue as the primary contractor until April 28.

During that the period, the utility giant will review data supplied by Westinghouse and try to determine what direction to take on units 3 and 4 — that could potentially include completing both reactors, trying to finish unit 3 and converting unit 4 to a gas-fired facility, or even canceling both reactors.

At the end of that 30-day review, “we will bring to you what is the cost of canceling this contract,” Georgia Power attorney Kevin Greene told the commission at an energy committee meeting.

Westinghouse has filed a restructuring bankruptcy rather than a liquidation of the company’s assets.

“All indications are that Westinghouse intends to stay in business,” Greene said. But Westinghouse may well decide that its future business operations will not include the completion of units 3 and 4 at Vogtle.

If that happens, Greene said that both Georgia Power and the Southern Co. have experience building power plants and could take over the management of construction of Vogtle.

“If they reject the contract, we are ready to step in,” Greene said.

Greene said Georgia Power has $2 billion on hand “that we would have paid to Westinghouse that we could use if we take over the project.”

Prior to the bankruptcy bombshell, the Vogtle was already more than $2 billion over budget and three years behind schedule, seemingly falling more behind schedule every day.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Georgia Power , Plant Vogtle , PSC , Westinghouse