Japan nuclear disaster causes lower MEAG Power bond outlook

Ripple effects from the Japan nuclear disaster continue to be felt in Georgia's nuclear industry.

Moody's Investors Service lowered its outlook on Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia revenue bonds, citing the negative impact of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan after an earthquake and tsunami.

Moody's said that, "... in the aftermath of the Japan nuclear disaster, there will be significant new political and regulatory scrutiny of nuclear generation which could present cost pressures for MEAG Power participants in relation to their ownership of existing nuclear generation and their participation in the expansion of the Vogtle Nuclear Station."

A negative outlook can increase a borrower's costs.

MEAG Power, a not-for-profit, community-owned consortium of public power systems, has a 22.7 percent stake in Units 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle, now in development. Its member communities include Acworth, College Park, East Point, Marietta and Newnan.

James Fuller, MEAG Power senior vice president and chief financial officer, said the Moody's change in outlook may not have much of an impact, however, because MEAG Power already has financing in place for the Plant Vogtle project.