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Cost overruns are the norm for building nuclear power plants, but investors don’t pay

scrutiny-on-costsNuclear Energy Dangerous to Your Wallet, Not Only the Environment, CounterPunch, by PETE DOLACK , 1 JAN 16  “……..Significant cost overruns are the norm in building nuclear power plants, and it isn’t investors who are on the hook for them.

Three nuclear projects are under construction in the United States and two in Western Europe, a group that features an assortment of cost overruns and generous guarantees:

*The two new Vogtle reactors in Georgia are already $3 billion over budget although their completion date is three and a half years away. The largest owner, Southern Company, has received $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees. Overruns at this plant are not unprecedented; the two existing reactors cost $8.7 billion instead of the promised $600 million, resulting in higher electricity rates.

*The Watts Bar 2 nuclear reactor in Tennessee, which received its license to operate in October, has seen its cost rise to $6.1 billion from $2.5 billion. (This is technically a restart of a unit on which construction was suspended in 1985.) The existing reactor at this site has a history of safety problems.

*The Summer 2 and 3 reactors being built in South Carolina have already caused rate payers there to endure a series of rate increases. Cost overruns just since 2012 have totaled almost $2 billion.

*In October 2013, British authorities approved a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point, England, that features subsidies designed to give the owner, Électricité de France, aguaranteed 10 percent rate of return on the project. Power from the plant will be sold at a fixed price, indexed to the consumer inflation rate. In other words, The Independentreports, “should the market price fall below that [agreed-upon] levelthe Government would make up the difference.” The agreed-upon fixed price set by the Cameron government at the time was double the wholesale price for electricity.

*Olkiluoto-3 in Finland was supposed to have cost €3 billion, but is 10 years behind schedule and €5 billion over budget.

High costs despite high subsidies…….. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/01/nuclear-energy-dangerous-to-your-wallet-not-only-the-environment/

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January 1, 2016 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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