4:00pm March 14, 2014

New Nuclear Reactor Underway, Thanks to Southern Company & Obama Administration


More than thirty years have passed since America built any new nuclear reactors. Now, that’s all about to change.

Mindful of the growing importance of nuclear energy to a sustainable clean energy future, the Obama Administration provided a $6.5 billion loan to Southern Company for the build out of the Vogtle nuclear plan in Georgia. While the agreement ultimately called for an $8.3 billion loan, a $1.8 billion guarantee was for the project’s co-owner, Oglethorpe Power and Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.  Southern Company is the project’s largest stakeholder, owning 45.7% of the Vogtle expansion project.

Two new nuclear reactors are currently under construction at the Vogtle plant, and the partner utilities expect to activate the first by late-2017, with the other scheduled to come online one year later.

Now that construction is underway, Georgia Power, the Southern Company subsidiary that owns Plant Vogtle, reports that the project is on schedule and within budget. In total, the build out of the new reactors will cost $14 billion, with $6.1 of that coming from Georgia Power.

Although the plant additions were originally one-year behind schedule, construction crews have been able to keep pace with the revised schedule and Georgia Power administrators have reduced the overall financing costs of construction by $91 million.

In all, ratepayers will now face a two to four percent decrease in costs for the construction of the plant, not to mention that with construction comes new job opportunities at the reactor site.

“It was a good value when it was certified,” said Buzz Miller, Georgia Power’s Executive Vice President for Nuclear Development. “It’s a better value now.”

In addition to the loan guarantees announced by the Obama Administration on February 20, Southern Company has earned federal tax credits for hitting timeliness benchmarks for Plant Vogtle’s expansion construction.  In the end, consumers now receive the benefit of clean energy technology at a much lower rate than was previously anticipated.


About the Author

Kristal High
Kristal Lauren High co-founded and serves as Editor in Chief of Politic365. She also operates her own communications and creative engagement company. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and have complete editorial independence from any Politic365 partners, sponsors, or advertisers. For additional information about Politic365, please visit http://politic365.com/about/.



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  1. Leonard Suschena

    Very well written piece. Factual and without opinion.

    • The article leaves out some important facts which I think would be especially salient to the audience of Politic365, a “digital destination for politics and policy related to communities of color.” The piece failed to mention the fact that the two reactors under construction in Georgia are located in Waynesboro, a town that is 70.7 percent black. The other fact is this mostly black town of 5,800 people already has two nuclear power plants. And “no thanks” to Southern Company and President Obama, it will now have four. Seems to me Blacks in Georgia are getting more than their fair share of nuclear power. Can someone explain these facts?

  2. Ed Griffin

    Lovely. I should be able to see the mushroom cloud from my house whenever it melts down or terrorists destroy it.

  3. ana

    No thanks to”Southern Company”and President Obama for their New Nuclear Reactor Power Plants in mostly Black Towns like Waynesboro,Georgia. Also,no thanks to Georgia Power for their unfair outrageous mamouth over-billing to poor underserved communities.

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