“We will continue to hold (Westinghouse) accountable for their responsibilities under our agreement,” Georgia Power said in a statement. “Work continues to progress at the Vogtle site, we are monitoring the situation and prepared for any potential outcome.”

A spokeswoman for Scana said that “with approximately 5,700 contractor and subcontractor personnel on site today, we continue to make progress with construction of these new units.”

In a potential Westinghouse bankruptcy, the utility companies would be among the largest creditors of the developer, owed the work that has yet to be completed and potential penalties, according to the sources.

The exploding population in the southeastern United States spurred the development of the plants, which were first approved by regulators in 2012.

Nuclear power fell out of favor in the United States after a partial nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in central Pennsylvania in the late 1970s.

Toshiba’s acquisition of Westinghouse about 10 years ago for $5.4 billion represented a major bet on a renaissance of the fuel. But the projects now face long construction delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns.

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