New Projects, Reactors

New Vogtle reactors to cause smaller customer rate increase than expected

Georgia Public Service Commission Georgia Power Plant Vogtle spending not likely to be blocked nuclear

The two nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle in Georgia will end up costing the customers less than previously thought, according to an executive with Southern Co (NYSE: SO).

Speaking at the opening plenary session American Nuclear Society’s 2013 Annual Meeting, President and CEO of Southern Nuclear Steve Kuczynksi announced that the increase in electricity rates on customers once Vogtle’s two new reactors come online is expected to be limited to between six and eight percent. The revised projection is significantly lower than the increase of up to 12 percent first envisioned when the project began, Kuczynski said.

Kuczynksi attributed the change to more favorable financing arrangements made available to the company as a result of the economic downturn. “We’re in a very good position economically,” he said.

Kuczynksi said the new numbers reflect the reality that people shouldn’t get bogged down in short term thinking when analyzing the costs and benefits of nuclear construction. The new expected rate increase associated with Vogtle indicates, he said, that “even this year-long delay has a negligible impact.”

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