Summer and Vogtle interim agreements extended

02 May 2017

The owners of the VC Summer and Vogtle nuclear new-build projects have announced extensions to interim assessment agreements with Westinghouse. The extensions will allow work to continue at the AP1000 construction site at Summer until 26 June and Vogtle until 12 May.

The interim agreements were set up following Westinghouse's 29 March filing for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, allowing work to continue at the sites - at the utilities' expense - for a period of 30 days. Scana and Georgia Power announced the extensions on 28 April - the day the interim agreements had been due to expire.

The extension agreed by Georgia Power and Westinghouse will allow work to continue on Vogtle units 3 and 4, near Waynesboro, Georgia, until 12 May. "During this time, the parties will continue to work on finalising a new service agreement which would, if necessary, assure that Westinghouse continues to provide design, engineering and procurement services to Southern Nuclear as a part of their assumption of control over construction management," the company said.

The Vogtle project is majority owned by Southern subsidiary Georgia Power (45.7%), with co-owners Oglethorpe Power (30%), MEAG Power (22.7%) and Dalton city (1.6%). The units will be operated by Southern Nuclear Operating Company. Georgia Power said it would continue work to complete its full-scale schedule and cost-to-complete analysis and actively work with the Georgia Public Service Commission and the plant's co-owners to determine the best path forward for its customers.

"The company will continue to take every action available to hold Westinghouse and Toshiba accountable for their financial responsibilities under the engineering, procurement and construction agreement and the parent guarantee," Georgia Power said.

The interim agreement between Summer's co-owners, Scana Corporation and Santee Cooper, and Westinghouse has been extended to 26 June, subject to bankruptcy procedures. Scana's ownership of the project to build the two AP1000s is through its principal subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Company. During this period, Fluor will remain in its current role as construction manager at the South Carolina site. The co-owners will continue to make weekly payments for work performed during the interim period.

"The agreement extension allows the co-owners additional time to maintain all of their options by continuing construction on the project, while examining all of the relevant information for a thorough and accurate assessment to determine the most prudent path forward. The goal is to reach a decision that would balance the needs of its customers and stakeholders," Scana said.

Construction began at Vogtle 3 and Summer 2 in March 2013 and at Vogtle 4 and Summer 3 in November that year. Vogtle 3 is currently expected to enter commercial operation in late 2019, with the other units following in 2020.

In addition to the four AP1000s under construction in the USA, four AP1000 units under construction in China - two each at Sanmen and Haiyang. These projects are not expected to be affected by the bankruptcy filing which only applies to Westinghouse's US operations.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News