Deal blames Vogtle's cost overruns on nuclear critics

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ATLANTA — Opponents of nuclear power are to blame for much of the cost overruns at Plant Vogtle, according to Gov. Nathan Deal.

Responding to questions from reporters Tuesday, Deal said groups opposed to building two additional reactors at the nuclear-power generating site in Waynesboro have caused it to go nearly $1 billion over its budget so far.

“There’s something a little bit unusual about being able to be the parties that are involved with running up the costs and then on the other hand complain about costs themselves,” he said, without citing specific groups. “That’s part of what’s happening here.”

The governor had been asked how concerned he was about the impact on customers.

Deal said the Public Service Commission, not the governor, has a say over which construction expenses are passed along to customers. The PSC begins hearings Thursday to review the latest batch of expenses.

Deal said he hopes the PSC will keep electricity rates from becoming unaffordable.

The governor, who practiced law before entering politics, said nuclear opponents used lawsuits to drive up expenses. He said it is ironic when people involved in lawsuits “complain about the cost of the litigation they initiated.”

Georgia Power Co. executives, however, cite different reasons for the cost overruns: the longer-than-expected time for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency to grant a construction and operating license and a delay in components fabricated in Louisiana.

Environmental groups were unsuccessful in various attempts in suing to halt construction. One pending lawsuit is between Georgia Power and the construction company over which of them should pay $425 million in costs related to the licensing delay.

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faithson 07/16/13 - 05:46 pm
oh yea...

they thought that plant in Japan was safe toooooooooooo..... a little more consumer oversite, not corporate would have gone a long way for the Japanese, really don't think it is to much here, yet some would complain that having a second set of generators in case the first failed is to much oversight.... so be it.

Young Fred
Young Fred 07/16/13 - 08:08 pm
oh yea...

We need "a little more" consumer oversite...just in case a tsunami hits Vogtle.

Of course the "consumer complainers and lawsuit bringers" are only concerned about basic safety. It couldn't possibly be they're absolutely against another nuclear plant or reactor, no matter how safe.

Then again they absolutely don't want another coal fired plant either.

Maybe we could raise trillions of hamsters, put them on trillions of little wheels, and generate power that way!!!

Oh that's right then the animal right's activist would get involved.

Gee maybe we should all just live in caves. We could all carve out little abodes within giant rock formations.

Oh that's right then the environmentalist would get involved again.

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