CEO: Southern Co. delays more nuclear until issues resolved

Chief executive Tom Fanning said Southern Co. will hold off on pushing for a new nuclear power project until it resolves issues in the delayed nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle near Augusta.

Southern, the parent of Georgia Power, has been a top advocate for nuclear expansion in the U.S. Its multi-billion-dollar project to expand Vogtle includes the nation’s first newly licensed nuclear units in 30 years. But there have been new setbacks in the work, with construction costs rising and warnings the project could be delayed three years beyond its original schedule.

Last year, Georgia Power chief executive Paul Bowers told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution there was a “very high probability” the company would ask state regulators as soon as this spring to let it take initial steps toward building still more nuclear.

But when asked about it in an AJC interview Wednesday, Fanning said, “Before we move forward on new nuclear, I think it makes sense for us to resolve these issues” at Vogtle.

Nonetheless, Fanning said, “We remain committed to nuclear as a dominant solution in the future to the nation’s energy portfolio.”

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