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Bill would penalize Ga. utility over nuclear costs

, The Associated Press

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ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta-based Southern Co. would be penalized for exceeding its construction budget while building a nuclear plant under a proposal from a Georgia lawmaker.

Rep. Jeff Chapman says he will file legislation Thursday that would prevent Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power from profiting off construction spending over its approved budget while building two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH'-gohl) near Augusta.

Georgia Power would be reimbursed for its actual construction expenses under the plan. But it could not earn a profit on any investments that exceed its budget.

Georgia utility regulators have allowed Georgia Power to spend roughly $6.1 billion as its share of the estimated $14 billion project cost. The utility has said it expects to exceed that limit.

A Georgia Power spokesman said he could not immediately comment.

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