Plant Vogtle PSC

This Southern Co. photo from July 2017 shows the first of two accumulator tanks being placed inside the Unit 3 containment vessel. Part of the passive core cooling system, accumulators are spherical tanks of borated water that, in the event of a loss of reactor coolant, are designed to provide a high rate of coolant flow for several minutes.

ATLANTA - Two Republican incumbents appeared well on their way to winning reelection to the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) Tuesday night, Nov. 3.

Commissioners Lauren “Bubba” McDonald and Jason Shaw were leading Democratic challengers Daniel Blackman and Robert Bryant, respectively, late on Election Night.

Each of the two Republicans had amassed nearly 55% of the statewide vote with 1,863 of Georgia’s 2,656 precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.

If the numbers remain unchanged, McDonald would win another six-year term representing PSC District 4, which covers all of North Georgia and the state’s border with South Carolina down to Augusta. The former member of the General Assembly has served on the commission since 1998.

Shaw, also a former state lawmaker, was appointed to the commission last year to represent PSC District 1, which covers all of South Georgia.

During the campaign, the two Democrats criticized the Republican incumbents for giving Georgia Power the green light to finish the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle despite huge cost overruns and lengthy delays.

The challengers also took the incumbents to task for lifting a moratorium on electrical service disconnections in July. The commission imposed the moratorium back in March as businesses shut down by the coronavirus pandemic began laying off employees.

The incumbents defended the Plant Vogtle project as critical to maintaining nuclear power as a component of a diverse energy-generation portfolio in Georgia, particularly as Georgia Power reduces its reliance on coal.

Victories by both McDonald and Shaw would leave the five-member PSC fully in Republican hands.

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