Vibrations in the cooling system mean the new nuclear reactor in Georgia will be delayed again
ATLANTA (AP) — Vibrations in the cooling system of its second new nuclear reactor will delay when the unit begins generating power, a Georgia power company said Thursday.
Vogtle plant unit 4 Now commercial operation will not begin until sometime in the second quarter of 2024, or between April 1 and June 30, Southern Co.’s largest subsidiary announced. Based in Atlanta.
The company said in its filing to investors that the vibrations were “similar in nature” to those that occurred during startup testing of Unit 3, which Commercial operations began Last summer, it joined two older reactors that had been at the site near Augusta for decades
In this case, the utility found it The tube vibrates during the test Because the construction workers did not install enough supports. Georgia Power said the Unit 4 problem has already been fixed but a lot of testing still needs to be done to reach the March 30 deadline.
Georgia Power said it could potentially lose $30 million in profits for every month after March that Unit 4 is not operating because of an earlier order by state utility regulators. The five members of the Georgia Public Service Commission ordered that the company cannot earn additional return on equity through additional construction fees charged to Georgia Power’s 2.7 million customers after March 30.
The typical residential customer has paid about $1,000 in additional fees over time to pay for financing costs.
The company said its construction budget will not be affected if the fourth unit becomes operational by June 30, but it will have to pay $15 million a month in additional construction costs if the project extends into July.
Regulators agreed in December Additional 6% increase To pay Vogtle’s remaining $7.56 billion in costs, it is expected to cost a typical residential customer $8.95 per month. This is in addition to the $5.42 increase that took effect when Unit 3 began operating.
The new Vogtle reactors are currently expected to cost Georgia Power and three other owners $31 billion, according to AP calculations. Add to that $3.7 billion Original contractor Westinghouse It paid Vogtle’s owners to stay out of construction, and the total is approaching $35 billion.
The reactors were originally expected to cost $14 billion and be completed by 2017.
Units 3 and 4 are the first new American reactors to be built from scratch in decades. Each could power 500,000 homes and businesses without emitting any carbon. But even with government officials and some public facilities We look again to nuclear energy To mitigate climate change, Vogtle’s cost could discourage utilities from pursuing nuclear power.
Georgia Power owns 45.7% of the reactors, with smaller shares owned by the company Oglethorpe Energy Company, which provides electricity to member-owned cooperatives; the Municipal Electricity Authority of Georgia; And the city of Dalton.
Some utilities in Florida and Alabama have also contracted to purchase Vogtle’s power.
(Tags for translation)Georgia