Inconclusive negotiations between Westinghouse Electric and Georgia Power have pushed a deadline for reaching a deal on construction of the Vogtle nuclear plant to Friday, according to The Augusta Chronicle.
Work on the project is continuing under an interim agreement put in place March 28, the day before Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy. That agreement was extended last month to finalize details on Georgia Power taking over construction of the plant.
The completion date for Vogtle’s two new reactors, which has been extended multiple times, is now December 2019 and September 2020, but Georgia Power has said it might not be able to meet those dates because of Westinghouse’s bankruptcy.
There are a lot of moving parts involved in the completion of the Vogtle project, one of only two nuclear projects to begin construction in the U.S. in 30 years. The interim construction agreement has been extended three times before this most recent extension.
After Westinghouse’s bankruptcy Georgia Power moved to take over construction of the nuclear plant, but that is contingent on finalizing financial details of the switch. Without an agreement with Westinghouse, it is unclear how much longer the utility will continue to fund the work.
Georgia Power spokesman Jacob Hawkins told The August Chronicle that negotiations with Westinghouse are “making progress” and is working “to complete its full-scale schedule and cost-to-complete analysis.”
Georgia Power is preparing a the analysis for the Georgia Public Service Commission. That process may determine whether or not the nuclear plant is completed.
Another nuclear project in South Carolina, SCANA’s V.C. Summer plant, is facing similar problems of cost overruns and delays that pushed Westinghouse into bankruptcy. An agreement on the Vogtle plant is reportedly contingent on SCANA officials reaching a similar construction deal for Summer, so the two utilities can share resources.
Summer’s interim construction agreement with Westinghouse runs to June 26.