By JEFF AMY, Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — Monitors say even the newest pushback of completion dates for two new nuclear reactors in Georgia is not sufficient to account for all of the delays and elevated prices they see coming.
Testimony filed Wednesday with the Georgia Public Service Commission by engineer Don Grace and others predict that the third reactor at Plant Vogtle close to Augusta will not meet the newest vary of July 2022 to September 2022 set by Georgia Power Co. Instead, Grace stated ongoing delays recommend a variety of November 2022 to February 2023.
Grace stated the fourth reactor, at the moment scheduled for completion between April and June of 2023, may not come on-line till someday in late 2024.
The Public Service Commission, an elected five-member regulatory physique, pays Grace and others to watch development. Grace stated the issues are “largely attributable” to electrical wiring issues which have already sparked elevated scrutiny from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“This level of schedule performance does little to inspire confidence in the company’s ability to accurately forecast progress on the project,” testified Public Service Commission analyst Steven D. Roetger and nuclear engineer William R. Jacobs. “We have testified in many prior (proceedings) that the schedules provided by the company are not achievable.”
Georgia Power spokesperson Jeffrey Wilson stated the corporate is holding to its present completion estimates and “will continue to respond and provide our perspective” by the Public Service Commission value monitoring course of.
More delay, Grace stated, might imply $1 billion extra in spending on a undertaking already on monitor to value $28.7 billion, not counting $3.68 billion that unique contractor Westinghouse paid again to house owners after going bankrupt.
Georgia Power, a unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co., owns 45.7% of the undertaking. Other house owners embrace Oglethorpe Power Co, which serves most Georgia electrical cooperatives and the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, which serves municipal utilities. Florida’s JEA and another municipal utilities and cooperatives in Florida and Alabama are also obligated to purchase energy from the plant.
Oglethorpe and MEAG say overruns have already tripped an settlement requiring Georgia Power to pay all of the remaining overruns, with the others promoting shares of their possession to Georgia Power equal to the extra prices that the personal utility pays. Georgia Power disagrees. The house owners signed an settlement Oct. 29 to delay the decision of the disagreement.
Grace stated firm estimates have “repeatedly been demonstrated to be unrealistic and unreliable.” He stated the corporate will want longer than the 4 months that it initiatives to load nuclear gasoline and full testing, that Nuclear Regulatory Commission supervision might gradual issues down extra, and that firm proposals to push again some work till after it begins loading gasoline will make every little thing slower and tougher. He stated the corporate is submitting many fewer notices to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission than deliberate displaying work has been accomplished and examined.
Grace additionally warned that development efficiency on Vogtle’s fourth nuclear reactor shouldn’t be enhancing, with solely 0.65 hours of precise work accomplished for each hour deliberate within the six weeks ended Oct. 17.
Georgia Power stated for years that Unit 3 can be in industrial operation by November 2021, however has pushed again that deadline thrice since May. When accepted in 2012, the estimated value was $14 billion, with the primary electrical energy being generated in 2016.
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