Consumers deserve protections from the rising costs of the Vogtle nuclear expansion

In just over a week the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) will have an opportunity to provide some protections to shield Georgia Power ratepayers from the increasing costs of building two additional nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle along the Savannah River. On Tuesday, August 18, the Commissioners will vote on whether to approve $169 million [...]

Hearing on New Vogtle Nuclear Reactors Provides New Information on Mounting Risks and Costs

Below is a Georgia Utility Update first published on July 1, 2015 by Robert “Bobby” B. Baker, Jr. with Freeman, Mathis & Gary, LLP who serves as SACE’s legal counsel in the ongoing semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) review before the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). Mr. Baker served three terms as a Georgia PSC [...]

“Reliable” Nuclear Reactor Shuts Down in Blizzard

Update #2: Pilgrim ended up being down for twelve days! Juno caused problems for the plant but ultimately, it appears that this nuclear plant just generally has problems and isn’t the “poster child” for reliability…read this article in “Cape Cod Today” for more. Update #1: Pilgrim, which creates enough power for up to 550,000 homes,  is still down [...]

TVA’s Watts Bar — the last old reactor of the 20th Century

At the end of October, I was able to attend a briefing of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Commissioners on the project status of TVA’s Watts Bar 2, which has been under construction since 1973 and was most recently “revived” in 2007. Amazingly, TVA and the nuclear industry is touting this as the first [...]

What do all nuclear reactors under construction in the U.S. have in common?

Hint: this isn’t a hard question to answer if you look back at the nuclear power industry’s track record. And the answer is? Drum roll please… All five nuclear reactors presently under construction in the U.S. are… delayed and over budget. That’s 100%! Every single one… SCANA now joins other utilities including Tennessee Valley Authority and [...]

Taxpayers in the dark and at risk from Vogtle nuclear loan guarantees

SACE’s High Risk Energy Choices program director, Sara Barczak, contributed to this blog post from Whitney Rappole, 2014 graduate of Emory Law School and former Turner Environmental Law Clinic student. As a student attorney at the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law, I was given the opportunity to join the Clinic in representing [...]

Thirsty Vogtle nuclear reactors would guzzle more water from the Savannah River

Southern Company’s water-hogging Plant Vogtle aims to get even thirstier if the proposed two new nuclear reactors under construction receive approval from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) for a large water withdrawal permit from the already imperiled Savannah River. The state agency is considering a permit request for up to 74 million gallons per [...]

Secret sweetheart deal for Georgia nuclear reactors puts taxpayers at risk

Earlier this week, shocking news was released regarding $6.5 billion in taxpayer-backed federal loan guarantees for two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. Two partners in the project, Georgia Power (subsidiary of Southern Co.) and Oglethorpe Power, had to pay $0, zip, nothing for something known as the “credit subsidy fee” — essentially [...]

NRC May I? An explanation of the nuclear safety implications of 10 CFR 50.59 and its relevance to St. Lucie Unit 2

This blog post by Dave Lochbaum, director of the Nuclear Safety Project with the Union of Concerned Scientists, originally ran on March 4, 2014 in their All Things Nuclear: Insights on Science and Security blog as part of their ongoing Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit (NEAT) series. Find the original post here. Mr. Lochbaum’s blog is [...]

Another somber anniversary: Fukushima – the disaster that seems to have no end

Today, March 11, marks the third anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan killing thousands of people and displacing tens of thousands more. This also initiated the devastating and still-ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Large releases and spills of radioactive water continue to occur and tens of thousands of people remain evacuated, [...]