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Does Georgia even need two additional nuclear reactors?

Critics Of Plant Vogtle Say Georgia Doesn’t Need New Nuclear, WABE,  • Next week, Georgia regulators will decide on the future of the country’s only nuclear power construction project.

One big issue is how much completing the expansion at Plant Vogtle will cost, after years of delays, rising prices and the bankruptcy of the lead contractor – and how much of that cost Georgia Power ratepayers are likely to bear.

But another question is, does Georgia even need two additional nuclear reactors?………

the demand for energy didn’t grow as much as Georgia Power projected when it began the Vogtle expansion. The Great Recession took a bite out of business growth and the ensuing expected energy need. Increasing use of energy-efficient appliances has made a difference, too, according to energy consultant Matt Cox, CEO of the Greenlink Group.

“Georgia’s GDP has been growing pretty healthily for the past several years while our electricity consumption has not been doing the same,” Cox said.

According to Cox’s calculations, Georgia Power could get by without the Vogtle expansion. He said the company could boost energy efficiency, add more renewables and buy power from other companies.

Cox testified this week at the Georgia Public Service Commission’s hearings on Plant Vogtle on behalf of critics of the project…….

Georgia is the only state in the nation with active nuclear power construction. Earlier this year, South Carolina utilities canceled a similar expansion project. That leaves Vogtle as the only project left of what was supposed to be a “nuclear renaissance.”

“No one in their right mind would start a new nuclear plant from scratch today. It’s twice as expensive as other ways of providing the same energy needs,” said Peter Bradford, a professor at Vermont Law School who served on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He also testified on behalf of Vogtle critics at the hearings this week.

“Even half-finished, it’s not at all clear that it isn’t cheaper to cancel and meet the needs some other way,” he said.

The Georgia Public Service Commission will vote Thursday on whether to allow construction on the two nuclear reactors to continue.


December 16, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA

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