Southern Co. casts blame at builders for construction delay at pricey Georgia nuclear plant

ATLANTA – Southern Co. has an emerging message when talking about its over-budget nuclear plant in Georgia: It’s not our fault.

The cost of building two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH’-gohl) has grown since the project was first approved years ago.

Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power owns a 46 per cent stake in the project. Its share of construction costs has grown from roughly $6.1 billion to $7.5 billion in the company’s latest filings. Analysts working for the state’s Public Service Commission expect the costs will go higher.

In testimony Tuesday, Southern Co. executives said they were responsible for project oversight generally, but not nuts-and-bolts construction. Southern Co. says responsibility for most construction decisions and costs rests with its contractors, Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric Co. and Chicago Bridge & Iron Inc.