Groups challenge PSC over nuke plant

By Staff – Times Free Press

Several Georgia groups, including the Southern Environmental Law Center, say they will challenge a Fulton County Superior Court ruling that dismissed their appeal of the Georgia Public Service Commission’s decision approving expected cost increases at Plant Vogtle.

The anticipated cost of finishing the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle has nearly doubled to an estimated $26 billion. The SELC, Georgia Watch and other groups claim the process used to approve spending on the new nuclear plant is improper and will burden Georgia electric ratepayers.

“The commission effectively gave Georgia Power a blank check by approving project continuation without the cost cap recommended by their own staff,” attorney John Salter said. “The utility’s customers are saddled not only with the higher construction costs, but up to $5 billion in increased profit for Georgia Power’s shareholders.”

Issued on Dec. 21, the court’s decision found that dissatisfied customers cannot raise concerns about the unfairness of that process until after the project is complete, which is now expected in 2022.

“While Georgia Power continues to profit from failing to complete the project on time and on budget, the stakes only get higher for customers who are on the hook for those mistakes — there is something fundamentally wrong with that equation,” said Nathaniel Smith, chief equity officer at Partnership for Southern Equity.

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Source: Times Free Press