February 2016 – SACE’s Wired In Newsletter

Enjoy SACE’s Wired In newsletter for the month of February, where staff provides updates on energy issues across the Southeast.

Did TVA stay on budget with the “new” TVA Watts Bar 2 reactor?

No, they did not. And given this has happened several times before, we can’t say we’re surprised but we certainly are disappointed, again. TVA announced during a 2016 first quarter earnings call today that they would exceed the $4.5 billion budget to complete a second nuclear reactor at the Watts Bar site on the Tennessee [...]

Georgia Power’s Nuclear Expansion Project at Plant Vogtle to Seek Approval from State Regulators for Billions of Dollars in Cost Overruns

Just days after final briefs were filed in the 13th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) docket, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) today voted 4-1 to approve what could be described as an expedited prudency review of all project costs to-date including litigation settlement costs. Commissioner Wise filed a motion last Friday (amended today) in response to Georgia Power’s request for the Commission to approve the recent settlement agreement between the utility owners and lead contractor Westinghouse that was first announced in late October and only recently finalized. The settlement amounts to over $916 million in cost increases to the utility owners, with Georgia Power’s share at $419 million.

Nuclear power carries extreme, persistent risks

Below is a guest blog post, published with permission, of an opinion editorial by William H. Schlesinger, Dean Emeritus at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, that originally ran in the Charlotte Observer on January 25, 2016. You can find the original publication here. We added the map to this post showing nuclear [...]

President Obama emphasizes climate legacy in SOTU, but will he earn it?

Last night, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address, which strongly emphasized the role he hopes that having acted on climate change and spurring the clean energy economy will play in his legacy.

What will it cost to build Southern Co.’s new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle?

So, what is the current cost estimate for building two new Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors at Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia along the Savannah River? It seems like it should be a simple question but it clearly is not. And the answer depends on when you ask, who you ask, what your question [...]

Fool’s Gold? Nuclear Power and Climate Change

Below is a guest blog post with permission to re-post from Gregory Jaczko, former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman and Commissioner, originally published in the Huffington Post’s “The Blog” on December 14, 2015, which can be found here. Back in 2012, then-Chairman Jaczko was the only NRC Commissioner who voted against issuing the combined operating [...]

Talking Turkey: FPL’s proposed new reactors face (yet) another setback

As we offer up our thanks during Thanksgiving week, we wanted to THANK YOU for all that you’ve done to help say “no” to FPL’s ill-advised pursuit of possibly building two new nuclear reactors at their existing Turkey Point plant near Homestead, Florida ~25 miles from Miami. This turkey-themed holiday also gave us another opportunity [...]

Who’s asking for (and getting) even more taxpayer bailouts? Hint: they’ve done it before

Once again the nuclear power industry is the culprit and once again, the Obama Administration, like numerous previous Administrations, is the enabler — obliging an industry to the detriment of U.S. taxpayers by continuing to push an “all of the above” energy policy. On the heels of the wise rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline [...]

Blinders Remain On in Vogtle Construction Monitoring Docket

One wonders what it is going to take in order to get the Georgia Public Service Commissioners’ attention when it comes to the two under-construction nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle? As reported by Georgia Power in their 13th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) report, the project is $1.4 billion over budget and at least 39-months [...]