Plant Vogtle and the Westinghouse meltdown hit Donald Trump’s radar

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In this 2014 photo, a new cooling tower for a nuclear power plant reactor that's under construction stands near the two operating reactors at Plant Vogtle power plant in Waynesboro, Ga. AP/John Bazemore

The AJC’s Russell Grantham reports that Westinghouse Electric, the lead contractor on two new nuclear power generators at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, could file for bankruptcy as early as today. Georgia Power is the lead partner in the projection, but a smaller participant says more delay’s are likely. From Grantham’s piece:

The latest completion deadlines of December 2019 and September 2020 for the two new reactors — already more than three years behind schedule — “do not appear to be achievable,” Oglethorpe Power Co. said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The latest deadlines had been supplied by the project’s construction contractor, Westinghouse, in February, Oglethorpe said in its filing.

 

Such delays are the biggest source of cost overruns at the Vogtle expansion, which is more than $3 billion over budget.

These delays are a big deal, likely are causing a great deal of perspiration in the halls of the state Public Service Commission – but worry isn’t stopping there. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that the situation has made it onto the radar of the Trump administration:

Finding a way forward will require dispelling the concern many in the U.S. feel about working with Toshiba or its nuclear unit. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Energy Secretary Rick Perry brought up Toshiba’s struggles in a March 16 meeting with [Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry] chief Hiroshige Seko in Washington. The Americans “likely have begun to realize that this is a serious issue,” another METI official said.

 

It is unusual for so young an American administration to touch on specific companies in such talks. The two sides have agreed to share information as the case develops. Toshiba’s efforts are unlikely to result in full-fledged government negotiations right away. But Washington is watching to see how the situation plays out, including how Westinghouse’s reorganization affects employment.

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Over at Georgiapol.com, Charlie Harper offers us these details of a memorial service for its home page editor, who died this weekend:

The family of Jonathan Richards invite you to attend a Celebration of Life service in his honor this Wednesday evening, March 29th.

 

The service will be held in the 1818 Club, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth Georgia.  The club is on the 3rd Floor. The service will be in the Virgil Williams Ballroom.

 

The family will receive guests beginning at 7pm.  A time of remembrance and celebration of Jon will begin at 7:30pm.  Light refreshments will be served.

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Georgia lawmakers received a letter Tuesday from former University of Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley in support of legislation that would legalize fantasy sports by declaring the Internet-based contests games of skill rather than chance.

Shockley, who also played for the Atlanta Falcons, took aim at critics who said the measure would legalize gambling.

“To those who think fantasy sports are gambling – where luck is the driver of the outcome – I challenge them to let Falcons nation know the creation of our Super Bowl caliber team with a bright future was just lucky,” Shockley wrote. “We all know that is not the case.”

Too soon?

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Gov. Nathan Deal again urged Senate leaders to strip “religious liberty” provisions from an unrelated measure dealing with adoptions that could scuttle the entire measure.

“We are hopeful they would take that amendment off and proceed to pass the clean bill,” he said. “And when they do, hopefully it will come to my desk and I will sign it.”

He was then asked about the annual binge of House-Senate squabbling that seems to lead to a rush of hastily-designed legislation.

“You would hope in the long run … that you would have gotten the best product that can possibly be achieved,” the governor said, “and that it would not cause unanticipated bad results.”



 

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With Republicans amping up their attacks on Democrat Jon Ossoff’s work experience, his campaign for Georgia’s special election on Monday released a timeline of his experience as an aide to U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson.

The timeline shows Ossoff worked for Johnson for about two-and-a-half years on a part-time basis and another three years as a full-time staffer.

His campaign said he got “top-secret security clearance” in March 2012 and left about five months later.

Republicans have increasingly targeted Ossoff’s resume, claiming he is inexperienced and not ready for public office.

Here’s the timeline:

— January 2007: Ossoff starts in Johnson’s office as a part-time legislative correspondent, working 25-30 hours a week while attending Georgetown University.

— May 2009: Ossoff graduates from Georgetown University.

— Summer 2009: Ossoff spends time traveling before he returns to work as Johnson’s legislative assistant in Aug. 2009.

— January 2010: Ossoff is promoted to senior legislative assistant.

— April to July 2010: Ossoff runs Johnson’s re-election campaign.

— September 2010: Ossoff returns to Johnson’s Capitol Hill office.

— March 2012: Ossoff receives a top-secret security clearance and staffs Johnson for work related to the National Defense Authorization Act.

— Mid-August 2012: Ossoff leaves Johnson’s office.


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