More delays, extra $1B foreseen for Vogtle expansion

Published: Dec. 4, 2021 at 3:51 PM EST
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Monitors say even the most recent pushback of completion dates for the two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle isn’t enough to account for all the delays and increased costs they see coming.

An engineer paid by the Georgia Public Service Commission predicts Unit 3 at the plant won’t meet the most recent deadline of September 2022 set by Georgia Power Co.

Don Grace instead says ongoing delays suggest a range of November 2022 to February 2023.

Grace says Unit 4 might not come online until sometime in late 2024.

Grace says more delay could mean $1 billion more in spending.

Units 3 and 4 have been under construction in recent years. Units 1 and 2 have been in operation for decades.

Costs for the expansion continue to outpace earlier projections, Georgia Power executive David L. McKinney told regulators recently. That cost had increased to $9.5 billion as of last month, McKinney told the commission last month. Only in October, the commission was the construction would cost $9.2 billion.

So far, the cumulative costs have been $7.9 billion, McKinney told commissioners last month.

As of September, the construction was 94% complete, according to McKinney, and Unit 3 is 99% complete.

Unit 4 is ahead of schedule in some area but behind in others, according to McKinney.

Some of the delays and extra costs of construction have been due to the pandemic, according to McKinney.

He blamed COVID-19 for lower productivity and $126 million to $200 million in extra costs. The pandemic can be blamed for three to four months of delays, he said.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT and The Associated Press