Nuke deal not likely to have an impact on Plant Vogtle, according to Dalton Utilities

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Aug. 28—Increased federal funding for nuclear power isn't likely to have an impact on Plant Vogtle, according to a Dalton Utilities official.

Dalton Utilities owns 1.6% of Plant Vogtle Units 1 and 2, which were built in the 1970s. The Inflation Reduction Act, approved by Congress earlier this month, includes $30 billion to extend the lives of aging nuclear reactors expected to close in the next decade. Plant Vogtle is near Waynesboro.

"Units 1 and 2 have both received 29-year license extensions that allow the units to operate to years 2047 and 2049 respectively," said Dalton Utilities CEO Tom Bundros.

Dalton Utilities also owns 1.6% of Units 3 and 4, which are under construction. But in July, Dalton Utilities' board voted to end spending on the two new units in return for reduction in its ownership of the units. Dalton Utilities' ownership percentage will not be determined until the final cost of construction of the project has been calculated at the end of the construction.

When those two units were originally announced in 2009, they projected to cost $14 billion and to go online in 2016. The latest forecasts project they will cost more than $30 billion. Unit 3 is expected to go online sometime in 2023 and Unit 4 sometime in 2024.

Oglethorpe Power owns a 30% share of Plant Vogtle, MEAG Power has a 22.7% stake and Georgia Power owns 45.7%.

In August 2018 Georgia Power announced another $2.3 billion in cost overruns, triggering an agreement calling for all four owners to vote to continue the project. Dalton Utilities, Georgia Power and MEAG agreed to continue. But Oglethorpe said it would only continue if there was a cap on construction costs, which would effectively require Georgia Power to cover any additional overruns.

In September 2018 the four owners approved an agreement that allowed the smaller owners to cap their investment in return for some loss of ownership if the costs exceeded $19.2 billion.

In June of this year Oglethorpe Power announced it was exercising its option to cap its spending.