Mark Cooper: In 2008, the “nuclear renaissance” hype was in full swing. South Carolina was one of the first states to hop on the bandwagon. Public and investor-owned utilities rushed to sign a contract for two new reactors at the V. C. Summer nuclear station before the design for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors was finalized, to avoid the price run-up that was expected to occur when orders for dozens of reactors were signed. There was no rush of orders, but there were 17 formal revisions before the design was finalized, and perhaps many hundreds more made in a more informal manner. A decade later, the nuclear industry is in shambles. Billions of dollars were spent on the two now-abandoned reactors at V. C. Summer, and only two other reactors remain under construction, at a plant in Georgia. The South Carolina reactors were so far behind schedule and over budget that they triggered the bankruptcy of the reactor vendor (Westinghouse), the near-bankruptcy of its corporate parent (Toshiba), and the resignation of the CEO of the utility (Santee Cooper) that owns 45 percent of the V. C. Summer project. The nuclear industry’s collapse is stunning, but it should come as no surprise. This is exactly what happened during the first round of nuclear construction in the United States, in the decade between 1975 and 1985. History is repeating itself because of a dozen factors and trends that render nuclear power, new and old, inevitably uneconomic.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 17th Oct 2017 read more »
Scana Corp., already the target of federal and state investigations, said it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with an abandoned nuclear power project. The Cayce, South Carolina-based company said it will “fully cooperate” and offered no further details, according to a statement Tuesday. Scana is under a federal investigation and a state probe into the expansion of its V.C. Summer nuclear reactor, a project it canceled after costs spiraled to more than $20 billion.
Bloomberg 17th Oct 2017 read more »
Utility regulators in Florida on Tuesday rejected Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) request to recover costs incurred after 2016 for two new nuclear reactors at the utility’s Turkey Point power plant. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) said in a statement that there was insufficient evidence to decide on FPL’s request to recover costs because the utility did not file a feasibility analysis for the new reactors in 2017 as required under Florida’s nuclear cost recovery rules.
Reuters 17th Oct 2017 read more »