Take action for accountability and transparency about Vogtle construction!
Join Georgia WAND staff, board, and members in continuing to advocate for accountability, transparency in the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, near Augusta, Georgia. The people of Georgia are left on the hook to finance this project, which is already behind schedule and over budget. Now, Georgia Power has the opportunity to delay their next major financial report and hearing, giving consumers even less of a voice in the process.
The next Public Service Commission hearing on the project is Tuesday, August 13, 10 am at 244 Washington Street. Call 404-524-5999 for more information or meet us there!
Since the first hearing over Georgia Power’s 8th Vogtle Construction Monitoring Report, which outlines the project’s progress from July 1 through December 23, 2012, Georgia Power has taken its request for the Public Service Commission to increase its certified cost on the project, allowing it to pass an additional $737 million on to customers off the table.
Now, Georgia Power/Southern Company have reached a deal that will postpone a major budget hearing until at least January 2018, after Vogtle unit 3 is complete and starts producing power, although project history warns us this date will likely be closer to 2020. Georgia Power’s argument for this deal was that factors like ongoing litigation with their contractor make it difficult to accurately project the actual final costs of the project. This new deal, along with ongoing project problems, is cause for major continuing concerns. Make your voice heard on these critical issues!
- This new deal fosters a lack of transparency. It also allows Southern Company to delay major hearings for several years, leaving customers in the lurch about how much money they will end up paying for the plant. Given Southern Company’s history of cost overruns and scheduling delays, they should not be subject to such a lax protocol for accountability and transparency.
- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s notification on August 3, 2013 that the concrete and grout used in construction at the plant were not correctly tested for sturdiness is the most recent of many examples of poor project oversight, which is cause for major safety and finance concerns.
- Ongoing struggles for Georgia Power to attain modules that are up to design specification are slowing down the project. The CA20 module and the CA01 module, integral parts for refueling and steam generation are significantly behind schedule, according to William Jacobs, on behalf of the PSC Public Interest Advocacy Staff. Jacobs says he cannot conclude the company will be able to finish the project according to their current schedule. This means there is high likelihood for continued cost overruns, but with the new deal delaying major cost hearings, consumers will have fewer major opportunities to weigh in and voice concerns.
- According to Philip Hayet, on behalf of PSC Public Interest Advocacy Staff, the company continues to emphasize that since the Certification Proceeding, it has identified additional benefits that improve the economic benefits to ratepayers, However, the Company’s analysis fails to also include detriments to the project that have been identified since certification. These detriments, which anyone who regularly reads the newspaper could identify, negatively impact economic benefits to customers and should be fully considered during PSC hearings.
- Georgia Power’s natural gas price forecast is overstated and continues to the company deriving overly optimistic estimates of the benefits of the Vogtle construction project, not giving the PSC or consumers a fair chance to determine what’s best for customers. Georgia Power needs to be honest about this project’s impact on Georgians.
For more information, call the Georgia WAND office at 404-524-5999.