Fighting nukes and corporate greed: PSC Meeting July 6
Georgia WAND, Sierra Club, Nuclear Watch South and Atlanta Grandmothers for Peace, hosted a much-publicized press conference at the Public Service Commission meeting on Wednesday, with 17 in attendance to speak out about the proposed risk-sharing mechanism for cost overruns during the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, GA. Participants met outside the Public Service Commission before the public hearing to speak against Georgia Power’s decision to go forth with business as usual in the wake of Fukushima, when countries across the world—Germany, Italy, Switzerland- are halting plans for new nukes and to advocate for the implementation of a risk sharing mechanism between Georgia Power and ratepayer-customers if the reactors at Vogtle are indeed constructed. Bobbie Paul, Executive Director of Georgia WAND, rallied the crowd and read from a sign that read “It’s you, It’s Us, It’s the ratepayer who is paying the price for ever increasing costs of high risk nuclear energy reactors.” See a video of Bobbie’s testimony here.
Currently, there is no framework in place to ensure that customers will not be charged for overruns in the proposed $6.1 billion budget. Under the proposed rate sharing mechanism, ratepayers and stockholders will both be responsible to finance overruns in the budget that exceed $300 million.
Proponents and opponents of the risk sharing mechanism both voiced their opinions during the public comment session of the hearing. Representatives from Georgia Power continued to demonstrate their reluctance to share costs and responsibility for the project. Georgia Power’s chief accounting officer Ann Daiss commented: “As a member of the management team of the company, if this mechanism had been part of the original certification, we very likely would have not proceeded.”
The Public Service Commission will vote on the risk sharing mechanism in August. Georgia WAND would like to thank everyone who participated, as well as our co-hosts for this event, Nuclear Watch South and Atlanta Grandmothers for Peace. We’ll post updates as more information on the August vote becomes available and actions are planned.