WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) — A major announcement out of Burke County as Georgia Power has decided to continue construction on two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.
The future of the project has been uncertain over the past few months because the plant’s original contractor, Westinghouse, filed for bankruptcy in March.
Georgia Power filed a recommendation with the Georgia Public Service Commission Thursday to continue the expansion of Plant Vogtle.
Waynesboro Mayor Greg Carswell says the company called him Thursday morning to tell him the good news.
“I’m excited and happy. I tried to get my dad on the phone because my dad works out at Plant Vogtle. I wanted to make sure. I’m sure he’s aware of what’s going on, but I wanted to tell him myself. We are very excited for everyone,” Carswell said.
All of the project’s partners are supporting the recommendation to continue construction.
The Public Service Commission is reviewing the recommendation and will have to make a decision on it.
“It’s been up in the air, but people have really had confidence in Georgia Power. The company is a part of our community. People were not worried too much, but we knew that everything had to go through the process and procedures,” Carswell said.
Plant Vogtle employs more than 800 people at reactors 1 and 2.
Currently, there are more than 6,000 employees working on the construction of the two new nuclear reactors.
Once the job is finished, 800 more jobs will be created to monitor the facilities.
“They do a lot for our community. I can tell you that if Plant Vogtle and Georgia Power just disappeared from Waynesboro and Burke County, it would be like ghost town, if you will,” Carswell said.
The mayor says because of Plant Vogtle, the city is getting a lot of attention from developers and investors.
He says one company is even considering building an apartment complex in Waynesboro.
“We want to have a place for the workers to stay and live here in Waynesboro, Burke County. The developer told me, hey, we want to know the progress of Plant Vogtle before we move forward with anything else,” Carswell said.
Georgia Power expects unit 3 to start operating in November 2021 and unit 4 in November 2022.
The Public Service Commission has to make a decision on this recommendation within 180-days.