Nuclear Costs

Estimates for new reactor construction costs continue to sky-rocket. Conservative estimates range between $6 and $12 billion per reactor but Standard & Poor's predicts a continued rise. The nuclear power industry is lobbying for heavy federal subsidization including unlimited loan guarantees but the Congressional Budget Office predicts the risk of default will be well over 50 percent, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Beyond Nuclear opposes taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for the nuclear energy industry.



Lawmakers grill Perry on travel, grid proposal

As reported by E&E News (the article is behind a pay wall). The article begins:

Energy Secretary Rick Perry defended his private airplane travel and his plan to alter electricity markets this morning in the face of strong questioning from House lawmakers.

The alteration to electricity markets refers to proposed massive subsidies, at ratepayer expense, to "compensate" dirty, dangerous, and expensive coal and nuclear plants for bogus "reliability and resilience" benefits.

Perry's recent trips using expensive chartered air travel included a visit to a coal mine in PA, and a uranium enrichment plant in OH. At the same time, atom splitters and coal burners in OH -- namely, FirstEnergy -- and its local supporters have been lobbying Perry for bailouts to keep the dangerously age-degraded Davis-Besse nuclear reactor, and polluting coal plants, operating despite their inability to compete in electricity markets.


Lawmakers to grill Perry on grid resiliency plan


They were paid HOW MUCH?!

As reported by The State in South Carolina, the top three execs at nuclear utility SCANA were compensated to the tune of $2.5 to $6.1 million in 2016 alone. The grand total for the three was $11.2 million.

Under the so-called "leadership" of these three corporate execs, ratepayers were bilked for billions of dollars of rate increases, to build the proposed new reactors at Summer Units 2 & 3.

The cost overruns and schedule delays, combined with those at the Vogtle 3 & 4 new build in GA, led to Westinghouse Nuclear's bankruptcy.

On July 31, SCANA and its partner, SCE&G, pulled the plug on Summer 2 & 3. SC ratepayers were left holding the bag.

Voglte 3 & 4 slog ahead, despite it all.

A federal investigation is now underway, regarding potential criminal wrongdoing at Summer 2 & 3. For example, The State now reports that seven years ago, the SC nuclear utilities knew natural gas was much cheaper than new nuclear, and that Summer 2 & 3's electricity was not even needed in SC. In addition, the utilities contracted Bechtel Corp. to do a study, published 1.5 years ago, showing the severe problems at Summer 2 & 3 -- but the report was kept secret, until very recently, when it was released by SC's governor, as well as obtained by subpeona by the U.S. Attorney in SC.



SCANA being investigated by federal grand jury over failed nuke project


AJC: Georgia’s large power users save hundreds of millions on Plant Vogtle charges

Energy justice? Not in Georgia!

As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, different classes (a most apt term!) of electricity consumers are being charged different amounts, to pay in advance for the proposed new Vogtle 3 & 4 atomic reactors, long before they generate a single kilowatt-hour of electricity, if they ever do.

The article reports:

Georgia Power’s largest commercial customers have gotten breaks worth hundreds of millions of dollars off surcharges to finance the troubled Plant Vogtle nuclear project since 2011, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis shows.

The rest of its customers — homeowners, smaller businesses and government power users such as MARTA and cities — have paid nearly 90 percent of the $1.9 billion collected so far in monthly bills to bankroll the Atlanta utility’s construction of two new nuclear reactors at the plant near Augusta. They will likely use about 70 percent of the plant’s output.

In contrast, Georgia Power’s industrial customers have paid only 12 cents out of every dollar of total Vogtle surcharges, even though they will likely use more than a fourth of the troubled expansion’s power if it is ever completed.