The two Westinghouse AP1000 units under construction at Vogtle are the only commercial nuclear power plant under construction in the US. The project is at nearly double its original budget and five years behind schedule.
The company set a new baseline schedule last spring, which commission staff is calling over-aggressive and unachievable.
That schedule features a completion date range of May to November 2021 for Unit 3 and May to November 2022 for Unit 4. Commission staff consultant Don Grace said the May dates “cannot be achieved,” and that “unless performance improves significantly,” the November dates “are significantly challenged.”
Mr Grace said the staff predicts Unit 3 will be finished in February or March of 2022 if nothing changes, but could not predict Unit 4’s schedule.
Southern Nuclear president Stephen Kuczynski told the commission earlier this month that work on the project was on schedule to meet revised targets of commercial operation in November 2021 and November 2022.
Regarding cost, Mr Grace said if “current performance trends continue,” the total budget set for the project’s construction, $17.1bn, “may be exceeded.” Including financing costs, the project’s total budget has come to more than $25 billion, press reports said.
Georgia Power owns just under half of the project. The rest of ownership is divided among MEAG Power, Oglethorpe Power Company and Dalton Utilities.
Meanwhile, Georgia Power announced a construction milestone for the project: the installation of the final containment ring on Unit 4.
“Significant progress continues at the site with recent milestones completed, including the placement of the final reinforced concrete portion of the Unit 4 shield building,” the company said.