Plant Vogtle | WABE 90.1 FM

Plant Vogtle

David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia regulators will decide next February whether or not to continue with a troubled nuclear plant expansion project. The future of two new nuclear reactors has been up in the air since the lead contractor went bankrupt earlier this year.

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On Tuesday, the Georgia Public Service Commission voted to approve the schedule for a round of hearings on spending at Plant Vogtle. This is routine, every six months the utility presents its costs to the regulators.

John Bazemore / associated press file

Georgia Power says it wants to keep building two nuclear reactors, even as the cost to complete them has doubled since the project was proposed.

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The future of the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle has been up in the air since Westinghouse, the lead construction contractor, went bankrupt earlier this year. A similar project in South Carolina was scrapped this summer after utilities decided it didn’t make economic sense to continue with it.

In this June 13, 2014, file photo, construction continues on a new nuclear reactor at Plant Vogtle power plant in Waynesboro, Georgia. An analyst for the Public Service Commission, Steven Roetger, said the timeline for finishing two nuclear reactors at Pl
John Bazemore / Associated Press file

Earlier this summer, the Japanese company Toshiba promised to pay more than $3.6 billion to Georgia utilities. One of those utilities said on Thursday it’s not sure the company will survive, let alone make the payments.

And without the payments, a nuclear power expansion project will be on even shakier ground than it is already.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Oglethorpe Power Corporation said it has doubts “about Toshiba's ability to continue as a going concern.”

In this June 13, 2014, file photo, construction continues on a new nuclear reactor at Plant Vogtle power plant in Waynesboro, Georgia. An analyst for the Public Service Commission, Steven Roetger, said the timeline for finishing two nuclear reactors at Pl
John Bazemore / Associated Press file

Earlier this week, South Carolina utilities decided to scrap a nuclear power expansion project. Now, Georgia is the only state in the nation with nuclear reactors under construction.

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The future of the project here is up in the air, too.

An upward view inside the Vogtle Unit 3 cooling tower.
©2015 GEORGIA POWER CO.

Earlier this week, utilities in South Carolina decided to stop working on a nuclear power plant expansion, leaving Georgia the only state in the nation with nuclear reactors currently under construction.

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The scrapping of the South Carolina plant raises questions as to whether there’s a future for nuclear energy in the United States.

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