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Economy Briefs

- - Wednesday, August 3, 2011

COFFEE

Dunkin' Donuts to serve single-serve cups

CANTON, Mass. — Dunkin' Donuts will start selling its coffee in single-serve Keurig cups Wednesday, beating rival Starbucks Corp. to the market in a fast-growing portion of the coffee business.

The K-Cups can be used in Keurig brewing systems, which have gained popularity in offices and homes. The company that makes them, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., first announced its partnership with Dunkin' Donuts in February. Since then, it has also announced agreements with Starbucks Corp. and ConAgra Foods Inc.'s Swiss Miss hot chocolate brand. Starbucks plans to start offering K-Cups in the fall.

The Dunkin' Donuts K-Cups will be available only at Dunkin' Donuts shops.

NUCLEAR

Financial risk plan for nuke plant nixed

ATLANTA — Utility regulators unanimously rejected a plan Tuesday that would have trimmed the profits of the Southern Co. if it breaks its budget while building what may become the first brand-new nuclear plant in a generation.

The elected members of the state Public Service Commission voted 5-0 to approve a compromise negotiated between its staff and Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power that shelved a proposal meant to pressure the utility into controlling construction costs while building two Westinghouse Electric Co. AP1000 reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. The cost of building the existing reactors at the site jumped from $660 million to nearly $9 billion by the time they started producing power in the late 1980s.

Under state law, Georgia Power's 2.4 million customers will ultimately reimburse the state-regulated monopoly for the flagship plant as they pay their monthly electricity bills. President Obama's administration had awarded the project $8 billion in federal loan guarantees as it seeks to increase the country's use of nuclear power.

AIRLINES

US Airways to refund ticket taxes

TEMPE, Ariz. — US Airways Group Inc. says it will offer direct refunds of ticket taxes that travelers paid before the taxes lapsed on July 23.

The taxes can add up to $60 or more on a $300 round-trip ticket. They stopped when the Federal Aviation Administration partially shut down. Travelers who bought tickets before the shutdown but flew during it are due a refund.

Some airlines have been telling travelers to ask the IRS for a refund. The Internal Revenue Service has asked airlines to refund the money directly. Delta said on Monday that it would offer direct refunds, and US Airways joined them on Tuesday.

Most airlines raised fares by the amount of the taxes, so travelers have been paying the same amount during the FAA shutdown as they did previously.

TECHNOLOGY

AOL launches custom magazine app for iPad

SAN FRANCISCO — AOL is trying to snatch a larger portion of the tablet computer audience by launching free iPad software that presents a customized, daily e-magazine that draws in content from all over the Web.

Called Editions, the app is being released Wednesday. It includes a variety of default sections such as top news and sports. Users can tweak what they see by adding keywords and topics they want to read more about.

From wire dispatches and staff reports