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Southern Co. challenged on nuclear plant costs

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RAY HENRY
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - A utility regulator in Georgia has asked Southern Co. executives whether the firm has considered taking a loss on the extra costs for building a nuclear power plant.

That question came Thursday as utility officials gave their first testimony since announcing the company could not meet its state-approved budget to build two more reactors at Plant Vogtle, southeast of Georgia.

Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power has asked to raise the budget for its share of massive project by $737 million to roughly $6.85 billion.

Public Service Commission Tim Echols asked whether the firm has considered offering a deal like one it reached in Mississippi over a separate plant that also proved expensive to build. The company has absorbed $540 million in losses in Mississippi and could face more.

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