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USA power utilities have a long history of abandoning nuclear projects

US POWER COMPANIES HAVE A HISTORY OF WALKING AWAY FROM NUCLEAR PROJECTS, Platts Snapshot. William Freebairn, senior managing editor, Platts Nuclear Publications, August 17, 2017  

After spending close to $10 billion, two South Carolina power companies recently walked away from a half-finished nuclear power plant they were building, and a decision is expected by the end of August about a Georgia project. William Freebairn explains how the story of the Summer project in South Carolina demonstrates the capital-intensive nature of nuclear energy and the substantial risks of cutting-edge nuclear plant design. Will the Vogtle project in Georgia join the ranks of abandoned projects in the US?……

SANTEE COOPER AND SOUTH CAROLINA ELECTRIC AND GAS ABANDONED SUMMER EXPANSION ON JULY 31….

 
OWNERS OF VOGTLE PROJECT IN GEORGIA EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE PROJECT DECISION BY END OF AUGUST
The owners of the Vogtle project in Georgia are expected to announce their decision by the end of August.

It’s certainly not the first time a partly – or even mostly – built nuclear plant was abandoned. In the 1970s, the Tennessee Valley Authority walked away from 11 nuclear reactors for which it had started construction; in fairness, it went back and finished one recently.

Dozens of plants were canceled as costs rose and financial problems mounted, forcing one company, the Washington Public Power Supply System to default on more than $2 billion in bonds and giving the company a new nickname: “whoops”!

The factors that forced all those nuclear plant cancellations in the 1980s may sound familiar to those building today’s plants. The Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979 created pressure for increased safety standards in the middle of construction for those plants, and Fukushima in 2011 did the same for today’s projects.

STARTING CONSTRUCTION BEFORE ENGINEERING IS COMPLETE AND UNDERESTIMATING WORK CAN BE BLOWS TO PROJECTS

Additionally, construction got started before engineering was completed. As with many large infrastructure projects, there was a tendency to underestimate the amount of work required to complete the installation of miles of pipes, cables and concrete.

Whoops indeed. https://www.platts.com/videos/2017/august/snapshot-us-nuclear-power-summer-vogtle-081717

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August 18, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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