Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nuclear bill gets a push in Georgia

Georgia Power wants to build two additional reactors at its Vogtle nuclear plant near Augusta, with the reactors expected to go online in 2017.

SB 31 would let the utility begin collecting $1.6 billion in project financing charges six years earlier, when construction begins.

The charges include about $600,000 in debt interest and $1 billion in “return on equity” —- roughly, profit —- for Georgia Power shareholders.

The company says the early charges would protect its bond rating, hold down costs and ease reactor expenses into bills over six years, instead of adding them abruptly when the reactors are done.

Opponents say the measure would shift risk to ratepayers and tie up their money for years.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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