Another delay in the new Vogtle nuclear plant schedule for generating electricity

Startup of the first of two new reactors at the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia is being pushed back to at least April, one month after officials with Georgia Power had planned to start generating electricity from the unit.

Georgia Power, part of Atlanta-based Southern Co., announced the latest setback for the oft-delayed two-unit expansion project at Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Georgia. The company on Jan. 11 said startup will be delayed due to a vibrating pipe in the cooling system, which was noted during recent testing of the Unit 3 reactor.

The Vogtle expansion project was approved by state regulators in 2012. The first of the two new reactors was supposed to begin operating in 2016, but numerous delays have pushed the startup date back several times. Delays also have contributed to cost overruns; the expected original cost of $14 billion has more than doubled to more than $30 billion.