In response to The Times’ recent front page article on Georgia Power’s nuclear study: Plant Vogtle reactor units No. 1 and No. 2 took 20 years to build and were 1,200 percent over budget. An additional two reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle now are three years behind schedule and $3 billion over budget. The new reactors were supposed to come on line this year but are only 30 percent finished, so the situation is bound to get worse.
Who do you think pays for this? If you get your electricity from Georgia Power or one its partners, a 2009 Georgia law enables the utility to charge for the nuclear plants while they are under construction. Georgia Power lists the nuclear tax as “Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery.” This is nothing but a boondoggle.
Why? We need electricity, don’t we? Of course we do, but someone needs to oversee the spending of public funds. That’s the job of the Georgia Public Service Commission. Using Georgia Power’s own data, experts have testified before the PSC and shown undeniably, that Georgia Power is already overbuilt despite a 10-year downward trend in electricity sales.
Unfortunately, the PSC has become the handmaiden of Georgia Power and its parent, the Southern Company, and refuses to exercise its authority to cancel the unneeded new nuclear plants. Whatever Georgia Power wants, the PSC gives it.
Now Georgia Power want to build two new nuclear power reactors on the Chattahoochee River in Stewart County, and the PSC wants to give it $99 million for the “study.” And who will pay for that?
Once again, the ratepayers, not the stockholders, will foot the bill. Additional pollution from the production and radiation from the reactors may poison the Chattahoochee River just as they have the Savannah River.
Georgia Power’s own records indicate their profits are going up while electricity usage is going down. Check out the Nuclear Watch South website and judge for yourself.
Joan O. King