The Georgia General Assembly made a terrible mistake in 2009 when they passed Senate Bill 31, the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act. This established a tax that Georgia Power’s customers – mainly small businesses, residential users and municipalities – had to pay every month in advance of any electricity being produced to cover the Vogtle project’s financing costs, including Company profits. Since 2011 more than $2 billion has been collected.
The federal government offered many corporate handouts too, at the expense of taxpayers, to make this project work. This included more than $8 billion in loan guarantees – 16 times more than the federal loans provided to Solyndra, which was a failure and cost taxpayers dearly. And guess what: The Vogtle owners want $3.7 billion more in federal bailouts.
New nuclear is a proven loser – so much so that no other reactors are being built here in the U.S. and nearly all those proposed have been cancelled.
The new Vogtle reactors should have been operating by now but are delayed until 2022, if not later. And the costs, due to combination of factors including mismanagement, years of delays, and the bankruptcy of designer and builder Westinghouse, have now doubled to at least $25 billion. And there is no guarantee that is the final price tag or that they will ever operate. To add insult to injury, Georgia Power is making a profit off the construction cost overages.