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Energy Department Offers Up to $3.7 Billion to Finish Vogtle Expansion

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By Editors of Power Engineering

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced conditional loans of up to $3.7 billion to finish the stalled construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle nuclear plant.

Specifically, $1.67 billion would go to Georgia Power Company, $1.6 billion to Oglethorpe Power Corporation and $415 million to three subsidiaries of Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.

This is on top of the previous $8.3 billion in loans offered to the power companies to support the construction of Units 3 and 4.

“I believe the future of nuclear energy in the United States is bright and look forward to expanding American leadership in innovative nuclear technologies,” said Secretary Perry. “Advanced nuclear energy projects like Vogtle are the kind of important energy infrastructure projects that support a reliable and resilient grid, promote economic growth, and strengthen our energy and national security."

Georgia Power finished assessments of the expansion and filed a recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission to finish the project.

The expansion, which is three years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget, was thrown into uncertainty with the bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric, the original chief contractor for the expansion as well as the developer of the AP1000 nuclear technology expected to be used in the expansion.

The full cost to complete is estimated at $19 billion, with Unit 3 scheduled for completion in November 2021 and Unit 4 in 2022.

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