Plant Vogtle construction. (2015 AJC File Photo)

Decision on the fate of Plant Vogtle could come as early as next week

The fate of Georgia’s nuclear power plant Vogtle could be known as early as Dec. 21 when the Public Service Commission decides whether to allow construction to continue or suspend it.

The decision to change the date follows letter exchanges last week between Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers and Georgia Public Service Commission chair Stan Wise, in the wake of proposed tax reforms in Congress.

The commission had initially set the decision for February 28th but is considering whether to expedite it to take advantage of current tax laws before the end of the year.

The project has been plagued by major cost overruns and construction delays even before the lead contractor Westinghouse declared bankruptcy earlier this year.

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Georgia Power currently spends $50 million per month on the project. In March 2017, Vogtle’s lead contractor, Westinghouse Electric, filed for bankruptcy. The project was already three years behind schedule and more than $3 billion over budget. Georgia Power’s Paul Bowers argues the project presents “long-term benefits to customers.” Critics have fought against Vogtle's expansion for years, citing cost and safety concerns. Cost and schedule estimates presented by Georgia Power may determine the project's fate. Plant Vogtle is one of Georgia's two nuclear power plants.

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