DOE urges Vogtle nuke owners to complete project ahead of Monday vote
Monday’s vote on the Vogtle project could mark the end for the troubled plant expansion, but the DOE’s correspondence makes clear the stakes are bigger than a single generation project.
In letters released late Friday, DOE said it understands that the choice to continue Vogtle is a “commercial decision,” but warned that it would have a “profound impact on the U.S. nuclear industry” and leave a “reputational mark of American industry to complete important and complex infrastructure projects.”
If Vogtle is completed, it will be the first nuclear plant built in the U.S. in more than three decades, and DOE called it a “linchpin” in the president’s energy strategy.
“The decision each owner makes should be made with an understanding of the ripple effect this project is already having, including job creation and the positive signal of the continued value of commercial nuclear power in our country,” John Sneed, executive director of the DOE Loan Programs Office, wrote.
DOE has already paid out $5.6 billion of an $8.3 billion federal loan guarantee, Sneed reminded owners, and an additional $3.7 billion will be made available by the Trump administration if the project moves forward.
If it is canceled, DOE “will move to fully enforce its rights under the terms of the Loan Guarantee Agreements to ensure the true guarantors of those funds … are made whole,” DOE wrote.