Trump Administration To Finalize Aid To Finish the Vogtle Nuclear Power Project
March 21, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Trump Administration is expected to finalize $3.7 billion in loan guarantees to Southern Co. and its partners building the Vogtle nuclear reactor project in Georgia. The guarantees, expected to be announced on March 22 when U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry visits Plant Vogtle with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Southern Chief Executive Officer Tom Fanning, represents a critical lifeline for the project, which has been dogged by construction delays and cost overruns, doubling in cost to $28 billion, Bloomberg reported.
The Vogtle project has made good progress over the past year, with a reported 7,000 workers now at the site. Construction of two new AP1000 reactors, Units 3 and 4 at Vogtle, is more than five years behind schedule. The project was first approved by state regulators in 2009, and at the time the cost for the two new reactors was pegged at about $14 billion, with an original startup date of 2016, Power magazine reported.
The Vogtle expansion would be the first new U.S. nuclear power plant project to be completed in 40 years. A similar project in South Carolina was abandoned in 2017 after its costs ballooned to more than $20 billion.