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Mesothelioma Compensation Center to the rescue of nuclear workers affected by mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Compensation Center Now Offers to Make Certain That a Nuclear Power Worker with Mesothelioma or Asbestos Exposure Lung Cancer Gets Accelerated Compensation with The Help of Attorney Erik Karst and His Colleagues at Karst von Oiste,   Mesothelioma Compensation Center 

PR NewswireApr 10, 2019, NEW YORK The Mesothelioma Compensation Center is incredibly passionate about making certain that a person who was exposed to asbestos at any type of nuclear power plant and now has mesothelioma or asbestos exposure lung cancer receives the very best possible financial compensation. The group recommends the law firm of Karst von Oiste to assist people like this because they so much experience with power plants and asbestos exposure that would have occurred at these types of facilities as they would like to discuss at 800-714-0303.  www.karstvonoiste.com

Rather than offering a free book about mesothelioma or asbestos exposure lung cancer the Mesothelioma Compensation Center offers direct access to attorney Erik Karst the founding partner of the law firm Karst von Oiste. The law firm of Karst von Oiste is one of the nation’s leading legal experts on mesothelioma or asbestos exposure lung cancer.

If the family of a nuclear power worker or a Navy Veteran who was exposed to asbestos on a nuclear submarine or aircraft carrier is concerned about compensation, they are urged to call the Mesothelioma Compensation Center anytime at 800-714-0303 for direct access to attorney Erik Karst for answers to questions about compensation and or how the compensation process works. http://MesotheliomaCompensationCenter.Com……

Rather than offering a free book about mesothelioma or asbestos exposure lung cancer the Mesothelioma Compensation Center offers direct access to attorney Erik Karst the founding partner of the law firm Karst von Oiste. The law firm of Karst von Oiste is one of the nation’s leading legal experts on mesothelioma or asbestos exposure lung cancer.

If the family of a nuclear power worker or a Navy Veteran who was exposed to asbestos on a nuclear submarine or aircraft carrier is concerned about compensation, they are urged to call the Mesothelioma Compensation Center anytime at 800-714-0303 for direct access to attorney Erik Karst for answers to questions about compensation and or how the compensation process works. http://MesotheliomaCompensationCenter.Com    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mesothelioma-compensation-center-now-offers-to-make-certain-that-a-nuclear-power-worker-with-mesothelioma-or-asbestos-exposure-lung-cancer-gets-accelerated-compensation-with-th

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April 11, 2019 Posted by | health, legal, USA | Leave a comment

USA Nuclear Workers Compensation deliberately dragging out process?

Lawsuit filed on behalf of nuclear workers   https://www.abqjournal.com/1299172/lawsuit-filed-on-behalf-of-nuclear-workers.html, BY SCOTT TURNER / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER April 2nd, 2019   ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — James Jaramillo and Harold Archuleta are used to having to navigate through government bureaucracy to receive compensation for illnesses they said were caused by radiation exposure during their days as employees at Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Both men had to wait years after filing claims for compensation through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program.

Jaramillo, 65, worked at Sandia for 24 years. He found out he had cancer of the small intestine in 1998. He filed for compensation in 2003 but was originally denied. Through changes in the program, he was finally awarded compensation in 2012 for medical care and lost wages since he was forced to retire.

Archuleta, 80, worked 38 years, 35 full time, at Los Alamos, where, he said, he ended up with skin cancer after years of exposure to plutonium. He’s also received compensation, but his wife, Angie, said it wasn’t an easy process.

“Congress put forth this act to help them, but then when it comes to actually paying, they put up all of these barriers,” Angie Archuleta said. “It’s just been very frustrating.”

According to a release by the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, changes are being made next week to update some of the regulations, with the goal of increasing efficiency and transparency and reducing administrative costs. The rules would align the regulations regarding processing and paying medical bills with the current system Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs uses to pay medical bills, and set out a new process that the office will use for authorizing in-home health care that will enable the office to better provide its beneficiaries with appropriate care, according to the release.

However, a company that provides health care to workers such as Jaramillo and Archuleta says rule changes involving the program could make it harder for nuclear workers to receive compensation and could delay the medical treatment they need.

The company, Professional Case Management, has filed suit in the District Court of Colorado against the Labor Department to keep the changes to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program from taking effect. Professional Case Management Vice President Tim Lerew said the new changes could cause delays of 60 days or more in treatment.

“It’s hard to know how long those delays will be,” Lerew said at a town hall meeting in Albuquerque last week. “We estimate it will be about an additional 60 days. For some people, coming out of the hospital with particular illnesses where doctors want them to have additional care … they don’t have that time to wait.”

Lerew said the new rule changes will also add 36 steps to the process between the patient, the doctor and the Labor Department to get pre-authorization for treatment and services, such as home health care.

“If they have you jump through 36 more hoops, how is a guy supposed to do that?” Jaramillo asked.

The rule changes would require patients to fill out most of the paperwork. In the past, health care providers would fill out the majority of it, Lerew and Jaramillo said.

“If you don’t dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t,’ they deny you,” said Jaramillo’s wife, Terry.

“Nurses take all your vitals and with the doctor come up with your plan, and send to the Department of Labor for approval,” James Jaramillo said. “Now, they want the patients to fill out a lot of the paperwork and submit it themselves, and not let medical people get involved with that.”

Lerew said he wondered how a cancer-stricken person in his or her 80s “is successfully going to  navigate that process.”

April 4, 2019 Posted by | employment, health, legal, USA | Leave a comment

The very dangerous history of making plutonium weapons triggers – “pits” at Rocky Flats

Dangerous history of pit production  https://www.aikenstandard.com/opinion/guest-column-dangerous-history-of-pit-production/article_a22aa6b8-4ab2-11e9-83dc-7b695e05d8a7.html Dr. Rose O. Hayes

Recent comments on the proposed pit production at Savannah River Site warrant a cautionary comment. All is not wonderful news where pit production is concerned. It has a very dirty past. Awareness of that past is paramount to the protection of CSRA public health and safety.

The primary U.S. plant to smelt plutonium, purify it and shape it into “triggers” (pits) for nuclear bombs was Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Site. From 1952 to 1989, Rocky Flats manufactured more than 70,000 pits at a cost of nearly $4 million apiece. Each one contained enough breathable plutonium particles to kill every person on earth. Virtually all of the waste produced there remains on-site. As we have learned through the SRS waste storage struggles, there is no place for it to go and no government plan to develop a repository. What’s made at a nuclear processing plant, stays at the nuclear processing plant.

Much went wrong at Rocky Flats due to mismanagement, criminal government indifference and public complacency. It took more than 30 years for the public to become so concerned with the pollution hazards issuing from the plant before the Department of Energy (DOE) was forced to hold a public meeting in 1988 to address the problems. One example: The plant produced one boxcar a week packed with 140 drums of radioactive waste. They were parked on site. Moisture penetration of a drum could have triggered an explosion. Ground water, soil and air pollution were also major hazards. A subsequent DOE study indicated that Rocky Flats was the most dangerous site in the country.

On June 6, 1989 more than 70 FBI and EPA agents raided the plant to begin an official investigation of the contractor and DOE for environmental crimes. The plant manager acknowledged that problems were solved “when DOE wanted to pay for them.” The final FBI/EPA allegations included concealment of environmental contamination, false certification of federal environmental reports, improper storage and disposal of hazardous and radioactive waste, and illegal discharge of pollutants into creeks flowing to drinking water supplies. Another independent study found there was enough lost plutonium in the plant exhaust ducts to create the possibility of an accidental nuclear reaction. According to a later DOE report, about 62 pounds of plutonium was lost in the plant air ducts; enough for seven nuclear bombs.

A grand jury was convened to hear the case on Aug. 1, 1989. The contractor argued in court that it could not fulfill its DOE contract without also violating environmental laws. In order to remediate the damage, on Sept. 28, 1989, EPA added Rocky Flats to its Superfund cleanup list. The grand jury worked until May 1991, then voted to indict the plant contractor, five employees and three individuals working for DOE.

The Department of Justice refused to sign the indictments despite more than 400 environmental violations that occurred during the decades of pit production at the plant. All charges were dropped. A settlement guaranteed the contractor and all indicted individuals immunity. Although the contractor pleaded guilty to criminal violations of the federal hazardous waste law and the Clean Water Act, the fine was only $18.5 million, less than the corporation had collected in bonuses for meeting production quotas that year. The contractor’s annual fee to run the site was estimated at $10 million, with an additional $8.7 million paid from DOE for management and safety excellence.

The contractor was also allowed to sue for reimbursement of $7.9 million from taxpayers for fees and costs related to its case. In addition, the contractor’s plea agreement indemnified it from further claims and all future prosecution, criminal or civil. The trial records are permanently sealed. Further, the contractor argued that everything it did at Rocky Flats was at the behest of DOE and maintained the right to receive future government contracts.

Grand jury members asked to write their own report but the judge refused to read it or release it to the public. Not surprisingly, the report was leaked to the press and printed in a Denver newspaper and Harper’s magazine. In January 1993, a Congressional committee finally issued a report revealing evidence of high-level intervention by Justice Department officials for the purpose of reducing the contractor’s fines.

DOE has estimated that it will take until 2065 to clean up Rocky Flats, at a cost to American taxpayers of more than $40 billion. One DOE official testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that some weapons plants, like Rocky Flats, may never be cleaned up because we lack the technology to do so at a reasonable cost. Another investigator, testifying before the U.S. Senate’s Governmental Affairs Committee, stated he did not believe it possible to reverse the harm done at Rocky Flats.

Could this history repeat itself at SRS? Without a comprehensive cradle to grave plan with built-in irrevocable government funding and independent oversight, including citizen stakeholder input, SRS could become the next Rocky Flats. How likely is the government to attach such planning and funding to an SRS pit processing campaign? Past experience at SRS includes years of having to do best guess planning under continuing resolution funding and government failures to pass a budget, decades of “temporarily” storing deadly radioactive waste due to the government’s failure to meet off-site disposition commitments, budget reductions, program cancellations (most recently, the MOX project), and more.

Plutonium pit production waste is not just radioactive. It is nuclear waste on steroids. If produced here, it will likely remain in our backyard, along with all the decades old waste at SRS. There is no place for it to go. Looming large as examples of the dangers and difficulties SRS will face in having pit production waste moved off-site are the explosion and prolonged closure at the New Mexico Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (the government’s only operating repository) and the abandonment of the Yucca Mountain project.

Is it the CSRA’s responsibility to take on this mission? Pit production, while bringing jobs to the Aiken/Augusts area, will add to the decades old SRS hazards waiting for DOE remediation. SRS is already part of the DOE nuclear complex cleanup program. That mission, 30 some years old, drags on under the burden of DOE mismanagement and variable federal funding. Estimates are it will take another 70 years to clean up the DOE nuclear complex and cost about $500 billion more. Celebration of plans to add U.S. pit production to SRS is a rush to judgement. Only the usual corporations, living large off gigantic federal awards, stand to benefit.

Dr. Rose O. Hayes is a medical anthropologist who spent her career in public health. She holds a B.S., M.S., M.A., and Ph.D. from SUNY and completed post-doctoral work in skeletal biology at The George Washington University. From 2009 to 2015, she served on the U.S. Department of Energy Site-Specific Advisory Board for the Savannah River plant, chairing its Nuclear Materials Committee. 

April 1, 2019 Posted by | - plutonium, history, legal, Reference, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Nevada asks court to order removal of plutonium from this State

Nevada wants plutonium removed from state pending appeal https://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Nevada-wants-plutonium-removed-from-state-pending-appeal-507042751.html, 13 Mar 19, 

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Nevada wants a federal appeals court to order the U.S. government to remove weapon-grade plutonium the Department of Energy secretly trucked to a site near Las Vegas until the court decides whether the clandestine move was illegal.

The extraordinary request comes in an increasingly aggressive legal battle over the highly radioactive material the state says poses a danger to Nevadans’ health and safety.

A federal judge in Reno has denied a similar motion for a temporary injunction pending the outcome of an appeal before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

She ruled the matter was moot given the plutonium already had been shipped and DOE says no further shipments are planned.

Nevada’s lawyers said in a new filing late Monday the government can’t be trusted. They say removal of the plutonium is the only way to protect Nevada’s rights.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Claim that SCANA executives deliberately lied to investors about the future of a doomed nuclear construction project

Lawyer: Ex-SCANA officials ‘whitewashed,’ lied about defects at failed nuclear plant John Monk, The State Greenville News,  March 5, 2019   COLUMBIA — SCANA executives deliberately lied to investors about the future of a doomed nuclear construction project, a lawyer representing former SCANA shareholders argued in court Monday.

“The bottom line is they (SCANA executives) lied to everyone, and they did it intentionally,” attorney John Browne told U.S. Judge Margaret Seymour.

The cost was tremendous, said Brown, whose lawsuit argues shareholders lost some $2.7 billion in stock value when the company’s stock price plummeted.

Seymour has a crucial decision to make about Browne’s lawsuit that alleges SCANA executives committed civil fraud that deflated investors’ stock valuations. She will decide whether to allow Browne’s lawsuit to go forward or dismiss it. She gave no hint Monday on how she might rule, or when.

Watching the proceedings Monday at the federal courthouse in Columbia were several attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s office, which is working with the FBI to investigate criminal fraud allegations against SCANA and some of its former executives……….

During the hearing, Browne referred repeatedly to a document known as the Bechtel Report, which SCANA commissioned in 2015 to evaluate progress on the V.C. Summer nuclear plant under construction.

The Bechtel report, a draft of which was presented to SCANA the fall of 2015, detailed substantial cost overruns, construction delays and shoddy work at the nuclear plant site. But the report was never publicly released or discussed.

The company, which was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, hid its findings from investors, the press and the public, Browne said. ……..    https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2019/03/05/lawyer-says-former-scana-officials-lied-failed-south-carolina-nuclear-plant/3065200002/

March 7, 2019 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

For the 5th time, a court rules the Japanese govt liable for the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe

Japan gov’t, Fukushima operator told to pay over nuclear disaster https://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/02/20/19/japan-govt-fukushima-operator-told-to-pay-over-nuclear-disaster, Agence France-Presse, TOKYO- A Japanese court Wednesday awarded nearly $4 million in fresh damages to scores of residents forced to flee their homes after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown.

The Yokohama district court ordered the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to pay 419.6 million yen ($3.8 million) to 152 local residents, a court spokeswoman told AFP.

The verdict was the fifth time the government has been ruled liable for the disaster in eastern Japan, the world’s most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

Presiding judge Ken Nakadaira said the government and TEPCO “could have avoided the accident if they had taken measures” against the tsunami that sparked the disaster, according to public broadcaster NHK.

In March last year, a court in Kyoto, western Japan, ruled both the government and TEPCO were responsible and ordered them to pay 110 million yen to 110 residents.

However, in a separate case in September 2017 in Chiba near Tokyo, the court ruled that only the operator was liable.

Around 12,000 people who fled after the disaster due to radiation fears have filed various lawsuits against the government and TEPCO.

Cases have revolved around whether the government and TEPCO, both of whom are responsible for disaster prevention measures, could have foreseen the scale of the tsunami and subsequent meltdown.

Dozens of class-action lawsuits have been filed seeking compensation from the government.

Triggered by a 9.1-magnitude earthquake, the tsunami overwhelmed reactor cooling systems, sending three into meltdown and sending radiation over a large area.

February 21, 2019 Posted by | Japan, legal | Leave a comment

Lockheed Martin Sued for Fraud over Washington Nuclear Site

 https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2019/02/15/518025.htm

February 15, 2019 The U.S. Justice Department is accusing Lockheed Martin Corp. of using false records and making false statements to bill the Energy Department for tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized profits and fees at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington.

The federal civil lawsuit was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Eastern Washington.

The Seattle Times says the lawsuit also accuses Lockheed Martin of using federal money to pay millions of dollars in kickbacks.

Hanford is located near Richland, Washington, and for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons. The site is now involved in a massive cleanup effort that costs more than $2 billion per year.

The lawsuit covers the period from 2010 to 2015.

Lockheed Martin denied the allegations and said it will defend itself vigorously.

February 16, 2019 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

How they work out nuclear liability – insurance and claims

February 16, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, legal | Leave a comment

TVA says sale of Bellefonte nuclear plant to Haney would be illegal until regulators approve deal

TVA says sale of Bellefonte nuclear plant to Haney would be illegal until regulators approve deal, TVA defends decision to scrap sale of nuclear plant

February 5th, 2019, by Dave Flessner

The Tennessee Valley Authority says it cannot complete the sale of its Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant to developer Franklin L. Haney because Haney doesn’t have a license yet to operate the unfinished twin-reactor plant in Alabama.

In a 25-page legal brief filed in federal court Monday, TVA attorneys contend that any sale to Haney would be illegal under the Atomic Energy Act since Haney is trying to acquire and eventually operate the nuclear plant without a properly approved permit.

Haney’s company, Nuclear Development LLC , was the top bidder for Bellefonte at a TVA auction of the abandoned plant in November 2016. But Nuclear Development only filed a license transfer application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to take over TVA’s construction permit on the Bellefonte plant on Nov. 13, 2018 — two weeks after the sale was originally supposed to close and only 17 days before an extended deadline for the sale on Nov. 30.

TVA told Haney the day before the Nov. 30 sale was supposed to be completed that it could not sell Bellefonte as a nuclear plant without approval of the license transfer by the NRC. In the sales agreement with Haney, TVA said “federal law at all times govern the validity, interpretation and enforceability” of the sale………..

The legal fight over whether TVA must now sell the Bellefonte plant to Haney is moving in some uncharted waters since the NRC has not previously transferred a deferred construction permit on a nuclear plant to a private individual or a company that has not previously operated a nuclear plant. NRC spokesman Scott Burnell said last month that the NRC staff is still reviewing Haney’s application to take over the deferred construction permit.

Although no active construction has occurred at Bellefonte in nearly a decade, TVA has maintained the plant in deferred status…………

Aided by more than $2 billion in production tax credits for new nuclear generation allocated for Bellefonte and the prospect of $5 billion or more in federal loan guarantees for the project, Haney claims he should be able to finish the reactors at a cost allowing him to deliver power as much as $500 million a year cheaper for electricity users.

But Haney, a former Chattanooga real estate developer who now lives in south Florida, has no previous experience owning or operating a nuclear plant. Haney has amassed a fortune over the past four decades buying, developing and leasing properties to TVA, the Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies and airports, along with hotels, office buildings and other developments.

Haney said he is assembling a team of top engineering, design and construction firms with experience in the nuclear power industry to finish building Bellefonte.

Haney, who contributed more than $1 million to President Trump’s inaugural fund through a limited partnership known as HFNWA and once hired Haney’s personal attorney Michael Cohen to help with the Bellefonte project, has applied for federal loan guarantees for Bellefonte. The U.S. Department of Energy is still considering Haney’s loan application……… https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/breakingnews/story/2019/feb/05/tva-says-bellefonte-illegal/488049/

February 7, 2019 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Boeing Sued for Negligence in Wildfire That Devastated Malibu

Bloomberg, By Edvard Pettersson, February 6, 2019, Boeing Co. was accused of negligence tied to a wildfire that tore through Malibu, California, in November and that purportedly started on the grounds of the nearby, disused Rocketdyne testing site.

A group of homeowners sued Boeing along with Edison International, the parent of the utility they say was at fault in igniting the fire, on Tuesday in Los Angeles. They claim Boeing failed to properly manage the vegetation on the Santa Susana Field Laboratory and allowed the fire to spread to surrounding neighborhoods.

The Woolsey fire killed 3, burned about 100,000 acres and destroyed 1,500 structures in and around Malibu. Southern California Edison has said an electrical substation on the Boeing property suffered an outage two minutes before the fire was first reported.

…… The case is LaPlante v. Southern California Edison, 19STCV03419, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-06/boeing-sued-for-negligence-in-wildfire-that-devastated-malibu

February 7, 2019 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Environmental groups to take legal action about South Carolina nuclear decision

Environmental groups challenge SC nuclear decision, setting stage for Supreme Court appeal https://www.postandcourier.com/business/environmental-groups-challenge-sc-nuclear-decision-setting-stage-for-supreme/article_53ded6a2-079e-11e9-bd1e-67572a7e9c93.html By Thad Moore tmoore@postandcourier.com Dec 24, 2018
A pair of environmental groups will challenge state regulators’ decision to let Dominion Energy buy South Carolina Electric & Gas and charge ratepayers for its failed nuclear project.

The legal challenge means that regulators on the state’s Public Service Commission will have to formally reconsider their decision, which would leave SCE&G customers to pay $2.3 billion over the next two decades for a pair of abandoned nuclear reactors.

The process was set in motion Monday by Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club, a pair of environmental groups that faced off against SCE&G throughout the decade-long nuclear project. They filed their protest with the commission — the same regulators who made the decision.

The environmental groups say the PSC should have officially made a determination about whether SCE&G handled the nuclear project appropriately. Attorneys opposing the power company argued SCE&G failed to tell regulators about studies that questioned the project’s viability.

The PSC chided SCE&G this month, saying it had damaged the public’s trust. But regulators stopped short of formally saying they had been misled

The environmental groups went further. They argued Monday that “SCE&G fraudulently lied, misled and withheld material information” about the problems that sank its $9 billion plan to build a pair of reactors at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, north of Columbia.

SCE&G and Dominion, a Virginia-based utility giant that has offered to buy it, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Monday.

December 28, 2018 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Top court orders TEPCO to pay compensation for voluntary evacuation from Fukushima

December 18, 2018 (Mainichi Japan) TOKYO — The Supreme Court on Dec. 13 upheld the lower court ruling ordering Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to pay about 16 million yen in compensation to a man in his 40s and his family that voluntarily evacuated Fukushima Prefecture to western Japan after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

December 24, 2018 Posted by | Japan, legal | Leave a comment

South Africa’s Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s evidence at the State Capture Commission

I WARNED ZUMA OF NUCLEAR PROCUREMENT IMPLICATIONS, SAYS GORDHAN https://ewn.co.za/2018/11/19/i-warned-zuma-of-nuclear-procurement-implications-says-gordhan

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says he advised former President Jacob Zuma that nuclear procurement would be a complex issue. Clement Manyathela 20 Nov 18 JOHANNESBURG – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has told the state capture commission that former President Jacob Zuma was determined to go ahead with the nuclear build programme despite the reality that the country could not afford it. Gordhan appeared before the inquiry on Monday in Parktown.

His interactions with the Gupta family are among other issues he is expected to deal with.

The minister says he advised Zuma that nuclear procurement would be a complex issue.

“I indicated to the former president that it would be lawful to follow procurement processes for such an expensive process to avoid being marred in scandals such as the arms deal.”

He says he wanted Zuma to be aware of the cost implications.

“I wanted to impress upon the former president that that undertaking, the nuclear procurement, required careful consideration of its costs, choice of supplier and due process.”

Last month, former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told the commission Zuma was so determined to proceed with the nuclear build programme that he showed disregard and no appreciation for the financial ramifications for the country.

Gordhan will continue his testimony on Tuesday.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | legal, South Africa | Leave a comment

SCE and G electric utility aims to discredit the testimony of two former employees

In fight over power bills, SCE&G seeks to disparage ex-employees, $1 million nuclear report, Greenville News, Avery G. Wilks, The State Nov. 19, 2018 COLUMBIA — When the S.C. Public Service Commission rules on SCE&G’s electric rates next month, the Cayce-based utility doesn’t want those regulators to put too much stock into scathing testimony by two of its former employees.

Nor does SCE&G want the commission to weigh heavily a nuclear contractor’s late 2015 assessment that concluded SCE&G’s $9 billion nuclear construction project was foundering and way behind schedule.

Fighting allegations of fraud and mismanagement in this month’s PSC hearing into the failed V.C. Summer Nuclear Station expansion project, SCE&G has sought to disparage its former employees and a high-powered construction company that it paid $1 million.

It is a key part of SCE&G’s defense as the state’s utility watchdog, environmentalists and consumer groups cite those witnesses to bolster their arguments that the utility’s power bills – which rose by about $27 a month to bankroll the failing project – should be slashed.

That strategy likely will be on display again Tuesday when former utility executive Carlette Walker, vice president of nuclear finance administration for SCE&G’s parent company SCANA, and retired SCE&G engineer Ken Browne testify before the commission for the first time in this case.

Impeach your own people’

Walker and Browne are star witnesses for the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff, the state’s utility watchdog.

In sworn statements filed with the PSC, both have said SCE&G executives misled the commission in 2015 by testifying the project would cost $698 million more to complete – a number supplied by the project’s lead contractor, Westinghouse.

That number was unrealistically low and based on a productivity rate that never had been achieved at the Fairfield County construction site, Walker and Browne say. A team of SCE&G accountants and engineers worked for weeks to estimate the project actually would cost an additional $1.2 billion to finish — $500 million more than Westinghouse had said.

That half-billion-dollar difference is key to Regulatory Staff’s argument that SCE&G fraudulently won rate hikes and kept its failing nuclear project alive by providing the PSC with low-balled cost estimates. ……..https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2018/11/19/sce-g-seeks-disparage-ex-employees-1-million-nuclear-report/2055992002/

November 19, 2018 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

SCE and G ignored warning signs as costs ballooned for failed nuclear power project

November 15, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, legal, USA | Leave a comment