Georgia Power: Nuclear project on track for 2018 completion

Georgia Power said Friday that it fell further behind last year on building two new nuclear reactors near Augusta, but the utility company added that it expects to catch up and complete the nearly $15 billion project on the same schedule it projected last year.

The massive project — the nation’s first new nuclear project in a generation — will more than double the generating capacity of the Vogtle plant from two nuclear reactors to four. It had already slipped 19 months behind schedule and $740 million over budget a year ago. The nuclear expansion is expected to go into operation at the end of 2017 and 2018.

But in Friday’s update to regulators, Georgia Power, manager and roughly half-owner of the project, said it expects to hold the line on further delays or cost increases.

The utility said its contractors had completed $389 million worth of construction of the two new reactors in 2013. That is less than the $560 million worth of construction the company projected a year ago that its contractors would finish.

But Georgia Power said it is making up lost time because it is completing key stages of the second reactor sooner than expected.

That should allow the nuclear plant builders to catch up over the next few years, said Buzz Miller, Georgia Power’s executive vice president of nuclear power development.

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