Nuclear power plant construction spending approved at Vogtle site

The Georgia Public Service Commission unanimously approved Georgia Power’s spending on Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant units 3 and 4 for the period including July 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2010.

The commission is monitoring the construction of the two units through monthly filings and construction monitoring reports filed every six months.

Georgia Power, a unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), is preparing the Vogtle site in order to begin full-scale construction of the new nuclear power plant that will use two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded an $8.33 billion conditional loan guarantee for the project in February 2010.

The project is awaiting approval of its combined construction and operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which Southern said it expects to have by the end of 2011. Unit 3 is expected to become operational in 2016 and Unit 4 in 2017.

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