published Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Georgia regulators to vote on nuclear plant agreement

ATLANTA — Georgia officials will soon decide whether to defer a debate over the rising costs of building a new nuclear power plant.

The Public Service Commission will consider Tuesday whether to approve the tentative deal reached last month between Southern Co. and agency regulators.

Under the agreement, Southern Co. would withdraw its request to increase its budget to build two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH'-gohl). The power company had previously asked to increase its budget by $737 million to $6.85 billion.

The debate over whether to formally raise the budget would not happen until January 2018 at the earliest.

The deal shifts some financial risk onto Southern Co., but it also allows the firm to avoid a politically charged dispute over the project's cost in the near term.

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