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The Vogtle nuclear power plant. Photo: Pallava Bagla/Corbis via Getty Images

The only nuclear power project under construction in the U.S. will proceed after co-owners reached an 11th-hour deal Wednesday on how to handle further cost overruns.

Why it matters: For days, the future of Southern Company's delayed, way-over-budget construction of two new reactors at its Vogtle plant has been cloudy.

  • A decision to halt the now-$27 billion project would have been another major wound to the badly struggling U.S. nuclear industry.
  • The new reactors are slated to come online in 2021 and 2022.

The details: Under the arrangement described in this filing, Southern subsidiary Georgia Power, which has a 45.7% stake in the project, agreed to assume a larger share of future cost increases. Per the Securities and Exchange Commission filing:

  • They're on the hook for 55.7% of increases of up to $1.6 billion, and 65.7% of increases up to $2.1 billion.
  • And if costs balloon even more, the other owners could sell a portion of their stake to Georgia Power in exchange for Georgia Power agreeing to pay their share of those overruns.
  • Plus: "In this event, Georgia Power would have the option of cancelling the project in lieu of purchasing a portion of the ownership interest of any other Vogtle Owner."

The other owners of the project are the Oglethorpe Power, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, and Dalton Utilities.

The big picture: Via Utility Dive...

  • "The decision to continue construction of the Vogtle plant is a win for Southern and a boon for the fragile U.S. nuclear industry."
  • "The Department of Energy warned last week that cancelation of the project would strike a blow to the teetering sector and prompt the repayment of billions in federal loans."

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The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.

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