This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Pressure On As Southern Co. Builds Nuclear Plant

The site swirls with activity, hosting more than 2,000 workers in rural Waynesboro. On Tuesday, craft laborers were welding together massive pieces of what will become a giant steel case containing the guts of the first new reactor. In a major step, the metal vessel that will hold the hot, radioactive nuclear fuel was being transported to the construction site. One of the world's largest lift derricks, essentially a 560-foot crane, will hoist massive, pre-fabricated parts of the reactor into place.

That first reactor was supposed to be finished in April 2016, followed by the second reactor a year later. While the company has not formally changed those dates, it said completion of the first reactor has been pushed to November 2016. Under questioning, an executive said the timeline might stretch to early-to-mid 2017. Now a state monitor reports that first reactor will be finished no earlier than June 2017. He estimated the cost of a one-year delay as in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Robert Baker, a former utility regulator, said he planned to ask Georgia's Public Service Commission to adopt a plan that would trim the utility's profits if the project comes in over budget. Because the monopoly is guaranteed a profit on every dollar it spends, Baker said it has a disincentive to control costs.

"There is now no way that this project can come in on-budget and on-time as has been stated repeatedly," he said.

Several issues account for the delays. Southern Co. received its license to build from federal regulators months later than expected. The companies building the plant still have not agreed on an updated start-to-finish schedule.

Metal bars that will become part of the plant foundation were not installed exactly as required in plans, an error uncovered by federal inspectors. That required extra time and fixes. The Shaw Group Inc. in Lake Charles, La., experienced difficulty meeting stringent documentation and other quality rules required in the nuclear industry as it built parts for the facility.

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 17,698.18 -77.94 -0.44%
S&P 500 2,059.69 -8.20 -0.40%
NASDAQ 4,880.2280 -20.6570 -0.42%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs