The US nuclear power industry got a boost this week when state authorities in Georgia gave the go-ahead to complete construction on two new reactors. But this may not reverse the industry’s recent decline. The Georgia Public Service Commission on Thursday approved construction of Vogtle reactors three and four, the last planned reactors of this type in the United States. A project in South Carolina was halted in July. The two new reactors at the Vogtle plant in Georgia are expected to enter service at the end of 2022. The Sierra Club had a similar reaction. “Georgia Power should scrap this disaster immediately and instead transition away from dangerous nuclear and fossil fuel-based electric generation and toward a 100 percent clean energy economy that creates good jobs, protects our environment and shields our communities from the gross financial risks associated with bad bets like Vogtle,” the organization said in a statement.
Daily Mail 23rd Dec 2017 read more »
Georgia Commission Continues Vogtle Reactor Boondoggle … But the Project is Probably Still Doomed. Today, the Georgia Public Service Commission, which regulates electric and gas utilities in the state, voted to approve continued construction of two nuclear reactors at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle. This decision is unsurprising because of the Commission’s utter failure to question the project throughout its ten-year history, but the decision is all the more ridiculous and unfortunate for it. The vote flies in the face of the evidence about the project’s likelihood for continued failure, the state’s energy needs, and the PSC staff’s own recommendation to cancel the Vogtle reactors if Georgia Power did not agree to swallow $4 billion of the cost. Had the PSC canceled the project today – or forced Southern Co. to do so by holding the company accountable for the massive cost overruns – they could have saved a lot of face and pinned the blame on Westinghouse and their own “bad apples.” Going forward, it will be a different story: Southern Co. and the Georgia PSC now have no one else to blame. And they could find themselves facing the same cleaning of the house now taking place just across the border in South Carolina.
NIRS 21st Dec 2017 read more »
The PSC vote gives new meaning and absurdity to “pouring good money after bad” with the inestimable proportions of mismanagement and cost that the continuation of Vogtle construction portends for Georgia’s economy.
Beyond Nuclear 21st Dec 2017 read more »
A federal court has ordered the U.S. Department of Energy to remove 1 ton of defense plutonium from the state within two years. The South Carolina Federal District Court issued the order on Dec. 20. The two-year timeframe the court has called for is in line with an earlier Congressional mandate. The DOE had previously offered a 2025 removal date. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson touted the order as a major win.
Aiken Standard 21st Dec 2017 read more »