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Consumer group challenges PSC decision on Plant Vogtle nuclear reactors

Consumer group Georgia Watch is challenging in court approval by the Georgia Public Service Commission allowing Georgia Power and partners to complete two unfinished nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle in east Georgia.

In a petition filed in Fulton County Superior Court, Georgia Watch alleges the unanimous decision by the PSC in December to allow construction to continue benefits shareholders of Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the publicly traded Southern Company, over ratepayers.

“The Commission’s decision puts nearly all of the higher cost burden and risks of further cost increases on the backs of Georgia consumers,” Georgia Watch Executive Director Liz Coyle said in a news release. “Incredibly, Georgia Power will actually earn billions in extra profit while their customers foot the bill for the mismanaged project.”

The law group of former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes is representing Georgia Watch on a pro bono basis.

In a statement, Georgia Power said, “We believe the decision by the Georgia PSC to continue the Vogtle project was well within its authority and complied with all applicable laws.”

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The pair of reactors are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.

Georgia Power insists keeping Vogtle construction going is the best economic option for customers. Customers have financed construction of the units in Waynesboro, near Augusta, since 2009. Consumer groups have argued that ratepayers should not shoulder the burden of reactors plagued by delays and overruns.

A PSC spokesman declined to comment on the matter citing  the pending petition. 

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