Friday, April 28, 2017

Nuclear Energy is not an Alternative – It Just Will Not Work

Ever since WWII the world has looked to nuclear power plants as being a source of safe, low cost, pollution free power.  We now know that it is not safe and we now know that it is not low cost.  It turns out that trying to build a nuclear power plant can bankrupt an international giant.

Japan’s Toshiba Corp. purchased Westinghouse a while back to get into the nuclear plant building industry.  Now Westinghouse is bankrupt.  And the plants they are building may not be completed.

“Westinghouse, the U.S. nuclear unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection last month, calling into question the future of a number of multibillion-dollar nuclear projects, including the South Carolina site and a similar project at Plant Vogtle in eastern Georgia.

Such projects are rare. Along with the two additional Westinghouse AP1000 reactors being constructed at Plant Vogtle, the South Carolina reactors are the first of their kind to be built in the U.S.

SCANA's electric utility component, South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., owns 55 percent of the plant. For years, its customers have funded the reactor project through a series of rate hikes approved by state regulators. The state-owned utility Santee Cooper owns the other 45 percent, and it's unknown how ratepayers will be impacted by the Westinghouse bankruptcy.

Santee Cooper already has increased rates by 3.7 percent in both 2016 and this year to help pay for the new nuclear units.

SCE&G has raised electric prices on its customers nearly 20 percent since 2009 to pay for the project, which is behind schedule and over the original projected cost.”

Image result for images of nuclear power plant
Find the White Elephant in This Picture

With solar and wind coming on strong the inability to bring nuclear plants on line on time and on budget just means they cannot be the future.  De-regulating the nuclear industry won’t help.

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