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Massive Georgia nuclear project scores a partial vote to continue

An organization that represent city utilities in Georgia voted Monday to keep the nuclear power expansion of Plant Vogtle alive, despite continued cost overruns and delays.

But Vogtle’s future isn’t yet settled, even with the unanimous vote for approval by the board of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia. 

As of Monday afternoon, another major Vogtle owner, Oglethorpe Power, hadn’t yet voted on whether to stay in the project. It was expected to decide later in the day. 

Georgia Power, another Vogtle co-owner and the largest utility in the state, has said it wants to push forward with the expansion, the only commercial nuclear power project still under construction in the United States. 

But a recent round of cost increases requires that the multi-billion-dollar project be canceled unless it wins approval from owners with a combined stake of at least 90 percent in the project. 

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Even if the project is canceled, consumer and business customers of many utilities in the state are likely to be under pressure to cover the costs of the unfinished project.

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