Cost overruns of almost $1 billion — so far — at Ga. nuke reactors

Last month, a consortium of utilities including Atlanta-based Southern Company announced cost overruns of almost $1 billion at two new nuclear reactors being built near Waynesboro.

That’s an arresting number under any circumstances, but it looms even larger when you realize that major construction on the Vogtle 3 and 4 reactors has basically just begun, with at least five more years of construction to come.

And if costs soar, who’s going to pay for it? Southern Company and its subsidiary, Georgia Power, own 45.7 percent of the project, so its ratepayers’ share of these recent overruns would come to more than $400 million. But according to Buzz Miller, Southern’s executive vice president of nuclear development, that cost will be borne by contractors who are building the project.

“Our official position is that there’s no way we’re going to pay that amount,” Miller said Tuesday.

William Jacobs, a nuclear expert appointed by the Georgia Public Service Commission to monitor construction at Vogtle, warns that additional problems may be coming. In his latest report, he writes that the project is already more than seven months behind schedule, engineering work is not being completed on time, critical components may be delayed and additional potential change orders “could significantly impact” construction costs. Quality assurance issues from major suppliers “continue to be a significant concern for the project.”

In addition, he warns, project owners have yet to agree with contractors on a long-term construction schedule.

“The project is being managed based on short-term forecasts showing work to be accomplished in the next 60 to 90 days,” Jacobs writes. “A first-of-a-kind project of this magnitude and complexity cannot be effectively or efficiently managed using 60-to-90-day forecasts.”

A lot is at stake in the Vogtle project. The new breed of reactors being built at the site — featuring advanced standardized design, streamlined licensing and new construction techniques — are supposed to keep costs steady and bring projects in close to budget and on schedule. That in turn is supposed to spur a new golden era for nuclear power.

However, the problems at Vogtle are not isolated. Two new reactors just under construction in South Carolina, using the identical technology as at Vogtle, are already $560 million over initial estimates and counting. And in Tennessee, efforts to complete a nuclear plant abandoned back in the 1980s have almost doubled in cost. Originally scheduled to accept nuclear material in April, the Tennessee Valley Authority reactor is now expected to go on line late in 2015 at the earliest. And TVA executives acknowledge that the fault is largely their own.

As Miller points out, some of the problems at Vogtle and in the South Carolina project are inherent in being pioneers in construction of a new generation of plants. Since no new nuclear power plants have been built in this country in three decades or longer, suppliers and contractors face a challenge in ramping up to meet the exacting standards required in nuclear construction.

However, S. David Freeman, a former chairman of TVA, warned the TVA board last month that the problems may be inescapable.

“Maybe the problem is in the technology,” he was quoted as saying. “Maybe nuclear power is just such a demanding technology it requires near perfection. It requires so many people to always do the right thing. It just inherently is going to have cost overruns.”

That’s been the challenge of nuclear power from the beginning. Done right — absolutely right — it has great potential as a source of energy, especially in a global climate that is showing every sign of warming, just as scientists have warned. But as we’ve seen, the consequences of doing it wrong can be enormous in financial terms and more importantly in environmental terms.

Theoretically, we know how to handle it. At least we think we do. But it’s a technology in which very small mistakes can have very large repercussions, and when human beings are involved, there is always a significant danger that confidence will outrun competence.

– Jay Bookman

367 comments Add your comment

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

June 6th, 2012
11:09 am

Cue the, “But…but…but…Obama!” posts in 3…2…1….

TaxPayer

June 6th, 2012
11:13 am

We all know the real problem with the cost overruns–regulations. Give the Republicans what they want–no regulations–and those plants will come in under budget. They’ll also give new meaning to “green” energy what with all the glowing consumers that will be created as a result. :lol: Republicans! Can’t live with them!

Paul

June 6th, 2012
11:13 am

“But according to Buzz Miller, Southern’s executive vice president of nuclear development, that cost will be borne by contractors who are building the project.

“Our official position is that there’s no way we’re going to pay that amount,” Miller said Tuesday.”

He really expects Georgians to believe a couple of contractors are going to absorb one BILLION dollars? For starters?

???????????????????????????????????????
As Miller points out, some of the problems at Vogtle and in the South Carolina project are inherent in being pioneers in construction of a new generation of plants. Since no new nuclear power plants have been built in this country in three decades or longer, suppliers and contractors face a challenge in ramping up to meet the exacting standards required in nuclear construction.”

They couldn’t have just asked the French?

What I’m really interested to see in this is the reactions of Georgians. Apoplectic over Solyndra, against government picking winners and losers, but accept this in stride?

Georgia on my mind...

June 6th, 2012
11:14 am

We could learn a few things from Japan concerning their nuclear meltdown!

Fukushima Reactor Damage May Be Worse Than Previously Thought

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/health-science-technology/japans-nuclear-meltdown/fukushima-reactor-damage-may-be-worse-than-previously-thought/

TaxPayer

June 6th, 2012
11:15 am

I heard that radioactive bluefin tuna is deeeelicious.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 6th, 2012
11:15 am

West Virginia will rise again !

Can anyone say “COAL” !!!

edman

June 6th, 2012
11:16 am

That’s a lot of wind turbines, friends, no matter where you put them.

josef

June 6th, 2012
11:17 am

Just what Georgia and South Carolina need, nuclear plants along the fault line…

Off topic but always Georgia

June 6th, 2012
11:17 am

Georgia Drug Testing Policy Not Catching Jobless Druggies So Far
In December, Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican, introduced a bill to require drug screening and testing for all unemployment benefit claimants, citing complaints from businesses in his district. A watered-down version of his proposal made it into a broader bill that became law in February; states will be allowed to test some claimants as soon as the U.S. Labor Department offers guidance.
Businesses in Kingston’s district and elsewhere had told HuffPost about waves of would-be employees failing drug tests, but were unable to provide anything yet beyond anecdotes. National drug use surveys indicate the unemployed are twice as likely as people with jobs to use drugs, but the past two years of state and federal proposals to test people receiving unemployment insurance have yielded no data to suggest that people receiving benefits do drugs more than anyone else.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/06/georgia-drug-testing-unemployed_n_1573358.html

ragnar danneskjold

June 6th, 2012
11:18 am

Fair and balanced essay, well-written.

stands for decibels

June 6th, 2012
11:18 am

He really expects Georgians to believe a couple of contractors are going to absorb one BILLION dollars? For starters?

Are you saying that Executive Vice President of Nuclear Development “Buzz” sounds less than credible, here?

TaxPayer

June 6th, 2012
11:19 am

If you are a taxpayer who liked the less than half a billion dollar Solyndra federal loan guarantee debacle, you will love the $8.33 billion loan guarantee to the even riskier Vogtle nuclear reactor project licensed last week by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

But this is a proven technology!

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

June 6th, 2012
11:19 am

We can all say coal…..We just would rather not burn it cause its dirty.

Problems with exacting standards????…OMG…we are all gonna glow in the dark.

NO NUKES!

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 6th, 2012
11:20 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNPki1WVZdw&feature=related

P.S.

For some of you out there ………… Jay’s roots go back to West Virginia.

St Simons - official approver of E Warren's cheekbones

June 6th, 2012
11:21 am

its those jerb-killing regulations

if they would just rub some Republican ideology on this -
just de-regulate the nuclear industry
and let the glorah of the freee market decide
new motto – “Safety Third!”
the Southern Co can determine who glows, much better than any
big gubmint beaurocrat blah blah whatever
I mean its worked so well before in other sectors…

southpaw

June 6th, 2012
11:22 am

“They couldn’t have just asked the French?”

Ask the people who have been there and done that. Sounds like a good idea to me.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 6th, 2012
11:23 am

“We can all say coal…..We just would rather not burn it cause its dirty.”

Used to be ………. greatly improved and getting better.

UNCLE SAMANTHA

June 6th, 2012
11:24 am

if you want something done right………… ask for help from someone that has already done it right

FRANCE

they have the knowledge and expertise in this field

project mgt should have been ceeded to some French companies

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 6th, 2012
11:24 am

France? France! Did someone way FRANCE ???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYFxGPkPTyw

Matti

June 6th, 2012
11:24 am

“Maybe the problem is in the technology,” he was quoted as saying. “Maybe nuclear power is just such a demanding technology it requires near perfection.”

Nothing built in this state has ever been any where near near perfection. Expect massive clusterfloogen.

But as we’ve seen, the consequences of doing it wrong can be enormous in financial terms and more importantly in environmental terms.

Our three-eyed, eight-toed descendants will curse us for the radioactive garbage they eat, but we’ll be dead by then.

But it’s a technology in which very small mistakes can have very large repercussions, and when human beings are involved, there is always a significant danger that confidence will outrun competence.

When Georgia good ol’ boy capitalists are in charge, “significant danger” = certain worst-case outcome. Certain.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

June 6th, 2012
11:26 am

“Used to be ………. greatly improved and getting better.”

Boy have I heard that a lot in the last few years! Kinda like the check is in the mail.

Burn it at your house.

Call me when it is REALLY clean.

getalife

June 6th, 2012
11:26 am

Way to waste your own money cons.

Exit polls show our President will win Wisconsin again.

Keep fighting.

godless heathen

June 6th, 2012
11:26 am

We could learn a few things from Japan concerning their nuclear meltdown!

1) Don’t build power plants where they could hit by tsunamis. Done.

BlahBlahBlah

June 6th, 2012
11:26 am

We need to hire the folks building that bullet train in California. They’ll keep costs on track!

Matti

June 6th, 2012
11:26 am

We could learn a few things from Japan concerning their nuclear meltdown!

WE could. But the folks at the Southern Company won’t be bothered to do so.

UNCLE SAMANTHA

June 6th, 2012
11:27 am

heres an idea

build a nuclear reactor

but bid itout to contractors with the lowest bid

what is the worst that could happen?

Gale

June 6th, 2012
11:27 am

What, Southern selected contractors who knew so little about what they planned to build that they are this far over budget at the start? Poor selection and poor contractors. Either this or fraud.

Fukushima was old technology. Newer reactors are constructed differently and are much safer. (This from my brother in law who is a nclear plant safety expert.)

Union

June 6th, 2012
11:28 am

Granny Godzilla – Union Thugette
June 6th, 2012
11:19 am

We can all say coal…..We just would rather not burn it cause its dirty.

Problems with exacting standards????…OMG…we are all gonna glow in the dark.

NO NUKES!

in addition to other countries.. the military has been running accident free since.. 1954.. (?) so glow? only if its russian built.. they seem to have some issues..

MM

June 6th, 2012
11:28 am

Cost overruns on on big projects are an old story whether it’s construction or defense. Upfront realistic numbers would scare the bejeezus out of everyone so that nothing would get done. The conservative impulse to refuse to spend on big projects would mean we never do anything. I don’t condone systematic lying but I understand why it’s done.

The big question with nuclear power is why it can’t be done without government subsidies or guarantees. The “free market” sez nuclear is a bad idea because other investments are more attractive so nuclear doesn’t get done. No one wants to insure against the downside of big disaster.

Fukushima is a clue why. Why couldn’t the best engineers in the world anticipate a huge earthqaule a tsunami? I used to be an engineer and would like to have confidence in the nuclear engineers and geologists but I can see how money blinds us to risk. I don’t trust anyone with a huge financial interest in something to see clearly.

godless heathen

June 6th, 2012
11:28 am

What fault line, josef?

josef

June 6th, 2012
11:28 am

Brosephus™ - NTEU member and proud of it

June 6th, 2012
11:29 am

And if costs soar, who’s going to pay for it? Southern Company and its subsidiary, Georgia Power, own 45.7 percent of the project, so its ratepayers’ share of these recent overruns would come to more than $400 million. But according to Buzz Miller, Southern’s executive vice president of nuclear development, that cost will be borne by contractors who are building the project.

“Our official position is that there’s no way we’re going to pay that amount,” Miller said Tuesday.

Prepare for rate increases.

Real Scootter

June 6th, 2012
11:29 am

Cue the, “But…but…but…Obama!” posts in 3…2…1….

Cue the, “But…but…but… Republicans!” posts in the second post

Brosephus™ - NTEU member and proud of it

June 6th, 2012
11:30 am

What I’m really interested to see in this is the reactions of Georgians. Apoplectic over Solyndra, against government picking winners and losers, but accept this in stride?

It’s Georgia and it’s nuclear power, so you know things are peachy keen here. No problems… no issues…

Cutty

June 6th, 2012
11:30 am

Nuclear Power + Georgia Good ‘Ol Boys = WTF were we thinking!!

Peter

June 6th, 2012
11:30 am

The GOP and Kyle on the other blog will tell you this is the only real power going forward….talk about a free hand out from the government !

This is the dimmest thing going forward ever, and a total screwing of the American public.

But hey who says corporations don’t get welfare !

USMC

June 6th, 2012
11:30 am

As predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, Jay Bookman dusts off and pulls out the early article on energy/nukes.

How many if us called this last night after Socialists/Union’s big defeat? LOL! :-)

godless heathen

June 6th, 2012
11:34 am

Matti,

WE could. But the folks at the Southern Company won’t be bothered to do so.

Care to support that ASSertion?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

June 6th, 2012
11:35 am

Union

Military Accident free? Not According to Lutins.Org

18 April 1959
An experimental sodium-cooled reactor utilized aboard the USS Seawolf, the U.S.’s second nuclear submarine, was scuttled in 9,000 feet of water off the Delaware/Maryland coast in a stainless steel containment vessel. The reactor was plagued by persistent leaks in its steam system (caused by the corrosive nature of the sodium) and was later replaced with a more conventional model. The reactor is estimated to have contained 33,000 curies of radioactivity and is likely the largest single radioactive object ever dumped deliberately into the ocean. Subsequent attempts to locate the reactor proved to be futile.

October 1959
One man was killed and another three were seriously burned in the explosion and fire of a prototype reactor for the USS Triton at the Navy’s training center in West Milton, New York. The Navy stated, “The explosion…was completely unrelated to the reactor or any of its principal auxiliary systems,” but sources familiar with the operation claim that the high-pressure air flask which exploded was utilized to operate a critical back-up system in the event of a reactor emergency.

1961
The USS Theodore Roosvelt was contaminated when radioactive waste from its demineralization system, blew back onton the ship after an attempt to dispose of the material at sea. This happened on other occasions as well with other ships (for example, the USS Guardfish in 1975).

10 April 1963
The nuclear submarine Thresher imploded during a test dive east of Boston, killing all 129 men aboard.

5 December 1965
This write-up is drawn from the US Nuclear Weapons Accidents page at http://www.cdi.org/Issues/NukeAccidents/accidents.htm.

An A-4E Skyhawk strike aircraft carrying a nuclear weapon rolled off an elevator on the U.S. aircraft carrier Ticonderoga and fell into the sea. Because the bomb was lost at a depth of approximately 16,000 feet, Pentagon officials feared that intense water pressure could have caused the B-43 hydrogen bomb to explode. It is still unknown whether an explosion did occur. The pilot, aircraft, and weapon were lost.

The Pentagon claimed that the bomb was lost “500 miles away from land.” However, it was later revealed that the aircraft and nuclear weapon sank only miles from the Japanese island chain of Ryukyu. Several factors contributed to the Pentagon’s secretiveness. The USS Ticonderoga was returning from a mission off North Vietnam; confirming that the carrier had nuclear weapons aboard would document their introduction into the Vietnam War. Furthermore, Japan’s anti-nuclear law prohibited the introduction of atomic weapons into its territory, and U.S. military bases in Japan are not exempt from this law. Thus, confirming that the USS Ticonderoga carried nuclear weapons would signify U.S. violation of its military agreements with Japan. The carrier was headed to Yokosuka, Japan, and disclosure of the accident in the mid-1980s caused a strain in U.S.-Japanese relations.

1968
Radioactive coolant water may have been released by the USS Swordfish, which was moored at the time in Sasebo Harbor in Japan. According to one source, the incident was alleged by activists but a nearby Japanese government vessel failed to detect any such radiation leak. The purported incident was protested bitterly by the Japanese, with Premier Eisaku Sate warning that U.S. nuclear ships would no longer be allowed to call at Japanese ports unless their safety could be guaranteed.

22 May 1968
The U.S.S. Scorpion, a nuclear-powered attack submarine carrying two Mark 45 ASTOR torpedoes with nuclear warheads, sank mysteriously on this day. It was eventually photographed lying on the bottom of the ocean, where all ninety-nine of its crew were lost. Details of the accident remained classified until November 1993, when a Navy report detailing the incident was made public. The report suggested that a malfunction in one of Scorpion’s torpedoes could have caused the sinking, but evidence from subsequent dives to the location suggest that this was not the culprit.

14 January 1969
A series of explosions aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise left 17 dead and 85 injured.

16 May 1969
The U.S.S. Guitarro, a $50 million nuclear submarine undergoing final fitting in San Francisco Bay, sank to the bottom as water poured into a forward compartment. A House Armed Services subcommittee later found the Navy guilty of “inexcusable carelessness” in connection with the event.

12 December 1971
Five hundred gallons of radioactive coolant water spilled into the Thames River near New London, Connecticut as it was being transferred from the submarine Dace to the sub tender Fulton.

October-November 1975
The USS Proteus, a disabled submarine tender, discharged significant amounts of radioactive coolant water into Guam’s Apra Harbor. A geiger counter check of the harbor water near two public beaches measured 100 millirems/hour, fifty times the allowable dose.

22 May 1978
Up to 500 gallons of radioactive water was released when a valve was mistakenly opened aboard the USS Puffer near Puget Sound in Washington.

November 1992
Due to a valve failure, the nuclear-powered USS Long Beach leaked 109 gallons of radioactive cooling water over a 44-day period while docked at San Diego Naval Station. An additional 50 gallons had leaked out there the previous April and May. The San Diego Union reported that coolant had also been released at Pearl Harbor (Hawaii) and Indian Island (Washington). U.S. Navy officials insist that the level of radiation posed no threat, and that a “very small amount of valve leakage that is unavoidable and occurs on all ships is well understood, controlled and accounted for.”

….

It ain’t Fukishima….but with radioactivity it all adds up….

josef

June 6th, 2012
11:36 am

UNCLE SAMANTHA

June 6th, 2012
11:37 am

WHICH CAME FIRST?

Granny Godzilla – Union Thugette ……… OR …………….Chicken Little

godless heathen

June 6th, 2012
11:37 am

I used to be an engineer and would like to have confidence in the nuclear engineers and geologists but I can see how money blinds us to risk. I don’t trust anyone with a huge financial interest in something to see clearly.

Nuclear engineers and geologists are typically just the working stiffs that produce data for those that have huge financial interests.

Mighty Righty

June 6th, 2012
11:37 am

I guess when it takes twenty years from conception to birth with the Feds constantlly changing the rules during pregnancy we should not be surprised the final cost to be a bit higher than the estimate. Compared to the cost estmate of the Obama Unaffordable Health Care Act these plants being off only a small amount is a lot more accurate guesstimate. Unlike the Solyndra dry hole atleast we are getting something for our money.

John Ellison

June 6th, 2012
11:37 am

It’s typical of all U.S.industries where the employees are union members.

Paul

June 6th, 2012
11:38 am

Brosephus

“It’s Georgia and it’s nuclear power, so you know things are peachy keen here. No problems… no issues…”

Will your peaches glow in the dark, too?

Misty Fyed

June 6th, 2012
11:38 am

So Peter. Just how much of this is tax payer money?

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 6th, 2012
11:39 am

USMC:

“As predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, Jay Bookman dusts off and pulls out the early article on energy/nukes.

How many if us called this last night after Socialists/Union’s big defeat? LOL! ”

Well now, in Jay’s defense he did “start” with the Wiscosin thing but it didn’t last long.

I’ll admit, I did think the first thing on the blocks this morning would be “Georgia Transportation”.

But I guess even Jay knew he couldn’t do that one …………….. :o

ByteMe - Political thug

June 6th, 2012
11:39 am

Quality assurance issues from major suppliers “continue to be a significant concern for the project.”

Turns out government is not the problem. What’s a meme going to do?

Paul

June 6th, 2012
11:39 am

USMC

“As predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, Jay Bookman dusts off and pulls out the early article on energy/nukes.

How many if us called this last night after Socialists/Union’s big defeat? LOL!”

Given the lead thread was on the election, what you were really saying was “I predict that tomorrow Jay will post a thread not about the election.”

Karnac would be envious.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

June 6th, 2012
11:40 am

Matti:

You could always burn those pine trees around you but after that how will you stay warm in the winter?

I say coal.

What’s your solution?

Out for a bit ………….. everyone be nice.

Jm

June 6th, 2012
11:41 am

Yes nuclear tends to have cost overruns due to extremely long lead times

But it is the best option to combat global warming

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

June 6th, 2012
11:41 am

As predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, Jay Bookman dusts off and pulls out the early article on energy/nukes.

Really?

In fact, his “early article” was about the Wisconsin election.

But you already know that, ’cause you commented as early as 7:43 am.

As predictable as you playing the socialist/socialism card.

Union

June 6th, 2012
11:42 am

granny… just grabbed a snipet.. “14 January 1969
A series of explosions aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise left 17 dead and 85 injured.”

a zuni rocket went off while arming a plane.. started a fire.. other bombs on the flight deck went off.. people were killed.. nuclear? nope.. stayed safe as it was supposed to.. i could reply to all of them.. but dont have the time..

Big Hat

June 6th, 2012
11:42 am

Actual headline from the late 1950’s: “Russian scientists say ‘Radioactivity good for you’.”

Mighty Righty

June 6th, 2012
11:43 am

Cheaper by far than the Dry Hole called Solyndra. While the cost difference is only half, at least in this case we will get something we need.

UNCLE SAMANTHA

June 6th, 2012
11:43 am

what is up with all these LIBERALS

electricity in GA is not DE-REGULATED………. it is still a REGULATED MONOPOLY UTILITY

even as a fiscal conservative…………. it think it is better to have our gasoline, electricity and natural gas all as REGULATED MONOPOLIES…………… it creates a price stability and keeps govt control over the market

stable and cheap energy is one of the factors that built us into an economic juggernaut

Doggone/GA

June 6th, 2012
11:43 am

I’ve asked this before when nuclear power came up: WHY do they have to build such enormous plants, with their attendent dangers and overruns? There are nuclear subs and ships all around the world that have small, much more easily built and managed nuclear plants. Why not build a bunch of those land based instead?

JamVet

June 6th, 2012
11:43 am

Used to be ………. greatly improved and getting better.

More misinformation from the Master.

Clean coal does not exist except in the GOP’s Hope & Change talking points.

Matti

June 6th, 2012
11:44 am

The big question with nuclear power is why it can’t be done without government subsidies or guarantees.

Government subsidies plus forced capital investment by current ratepayers, for which they will be repaid neither capital nor interest, nor will they receive a discount on power generated by the fruits of their investment, should they live long enough to ever receive any. (Sorry Grandma!)

Georgia: Where our elected representatives socialize the risk and privatize the profits. We’re all on this plantation, and there’s nowhere to run.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

June 6th, 2012
11:44 am

I’ll admit, I did think the first thing on the blocks this morning would be “Georgia Transportation”.

This was his piece in the print edition of the AJC this morning, so of course it was gonna be a thread.

Geez….

josef

June 6th, 2012
11:46 am

So, Georgia’s lupine good ole boys should worry….? Long range planners, they…

http://video.pbs.org/video/2157025070

Jm

June 6th, 2012
11:47 am

Pick your poison critics

Global warming or nuclear power

Paul

June 6th, 2012
11:47 am

Mighty Righty

“Cheaper by far than the Dry Hole called Solyndra. While the cost difference is only half, at least in this case we will get something we need”

So if we’d pumped another $500 million into Solyndra and they’d stayed afloat and produced new-technology solar panels, you’d be happy, right?

TaxPayer

June 6th, 2012
11:47 am

Concerned organizations are warning that Southern Company is deliberately keeping U.S. taxpayers in the dark by covering up the details of 12 sizeable construction “change order” requests that are expected to add major delays and cost overruns to the controversial reactor project. The secret cost overruns are discussed in a censored report from late 2011 by the independent Vogtle construction monitor, Dr. William Jacobs, who is a veteran nuclear industry engineer. (See details below.) Much of Jacob’s testimony was redacted by the utility in the attempt to keep the troubling information from the public, including the U.S. taxpayers who will be left holding the bag if Southern Company defaults on the federal loan guarantee.

The groups are calling on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to insist on full disclosure of the Vogtle delays and cost overruns before the federal agency moves ahead with a massive $8.33 billion taxpayer-backed federal loan guarantee that will be 15 times what was lost in the Solyndra debacle. And Vogtle does have a history that should trouble taxpayers worried about assuming responsibility for the massive loan guarantee: The original two reactors at the Georgia site took almost 15 years to build, came in 1,200 percent over budget and resulted in the largest rate hike at the time in Georgia.

Oh No. Tell me it ain’t so.

Brosephus™ - NTEU member and proud of it

June 6th, 2012
11:48 am

Will your peaches glow in the dark, too?

Yeah. The neon green ones will help you lower your power consumption by using fewer lights at night. The neon pink ones will give you superpowers. The neon blue ones will cure medical issues. And the neon yellow ones will make you sick, so you don’t want to come in contact with those. :)

Doggone/GA

June 6th, 2012
11:48 am

“The big question with nuclear power is why it can’t be done without government subsidies or guarantees”

Government steps in when the private sector fails to step up. No, or note enough, private sector money was forthcoming for the project.

JamVet

June 6th, 2012
11:50 am

Maybe it is time to get the private sector can’t do anything right out of the nuke business.

After all, Uncle Sam did virtually ALL of the initial R&D, development, creation and construction and perfection of the technology back in the 1950s.

And then essentially GAVE it away to the private sector.

Once again with we the people/taxpayers getting nothing in return.

Massive corporate welfare has been around a long time…

Brosephus™ - NTEU member and proud of it

June 6th, 2012
11:50 am

Doggone

You’re trying to apply logic and common sense into a debate that does not allow for that.

Paul

June 6th, 2012
11:51 am

Brosephus

Don’t eat yellow peaches.

Or yellow snow.

Got it.

Brosephus™ - NTEU member and proud of it

June 6th, 2012
11:51 am

<i.“Cheaper by far than the Dry Hole called Solyndra. While the cost difference is only half, at least in this case we will get something we need”

So if we’d pumped another $500 million into Solyndra and they’d stayed afloat and produced new-technology solar panels, you’d be happy, right?

Unsportsmanlike conduct…. Hitting below the belt!!!

Jm

June 6th, 2012
11:52 am

All energy sources are subsidized in this country

Some more and some less

Nuclear subsidies are relatively small

saywhat?

June 6th, 2012
11:53 am

for every mention of “solyndra’, maybe we should research “konarka”

Fred ™

June 6th, 2012
11:53 am

Ask the French? Yeah simply brilliant. Ask the backstabbing SOB’s that have tried to sabotage this Country since day one. They will REALLY “help” us.

At least the meltdown and blow up would occur when they were ready to push the button………..

Matti

June 6th, 2012
11:53 am

Will your peaches glow in the dark, too?

Yep. So will the fruit on the tree in the back yard.

Doggone/GA

June 6th, 2012
11:53 am

“You’re trying to apply logic and common sense into a debate that does not allow for that.”

yeah, I hear that ALL the time!

getalife

June 6th, 2012
11:53 am

This is your solyndra.

Enjoy.

Frankie

June 6th, 2012
11:54 am

It is funny how people tell us to have the money , then buy, build or whatever…
I see it constantly with the state, and federal governement (EVEN BEFORE OBAMA) that we charge it then payfor it later…

Schools 73 million, 45 million, 33 million over budget…WTF..

taxes collected this year should be fornext year, and so on..not for back filling this years or last years budget due to PISS POOR MANAGEMENT.

Doggone/GA

June 6th, 2012
11:54 am

RIP Ray Bradbury

The Thin Guy

June 6th, 2012
11:57 am

But if there is no electricity there is no air conditioning, no tv, no radio, no electric lights, no cds, no dvds, no betamax, no 8 track tape players, no cell phones, no land line phones, no automatic garage door openers, no electric coffee grinders, no computers, and no internet. Bookman would have to get a real job and the bloggers who are on this blog from dawn to dark would have to take up stamp collecting or butterfly catching. So you go Georgia Power and Southern company. At least you are giving me something for my money unlike the bureaucrats in DC and Dekalb County. Besides, you can use your Georgia Power bill to get your Drivers License renewed when after July 1 you are required to produce a current bill. Am working on a photoshop of a Hawaiian birth certificate which will also be required. Fortunately you can download the template from the web.

stands for decibels

June 6th, 2012
11:59 am

Ask the backstabbing SOB’s that have tried to sabotage this Country since day one.

given that the 13 colonies never would’ve managed independence from the Brits had it not been for help from those Frenchies, back in the day, and how they obligingly sold us their claim on >1/3 of what was to become the Lower 48 shortly thereafter, I assume you make, how you say, the joke?

Adam

June 6th, 2012
11:59 am

Jm: Nuclear subsidies are relatively small

This should be good….

If I pump $1B into a nuke company and $500M into a solar energy company, which is more subsidized? :D (That whole “the dollar amount matters more” argument doesn’t look good to you guys in reverse, does it?)

josef

June 6th, 2012
12:00 pm

FRED

@ 11:53

Sois sage, Mec, pas les appelle lécher-cracheurs délirantes! :-)

zeke

June 6th, 2012
12:01 pm

Regardless, we must use coal, oil, natural gas and all the nuclear we can construct in order to go forward for future generation! Solar, wind, geo-thermal can add a “little” to the mix, but, they are not efficient, very expensive and will never supply the world’s need for energy! Yes nuclear is expensive to facilitate and construct plants due to extreme regulation. But, for safety reasons due to the consequences of a failure, that regulation must be enforced! After the costs of construction, THERE IS NO OTHER METHOD, EXCEPT COMPLETE HYDRO, THAT CAN COMPETE WITH NUCLEAR ON A COST BASIS!

Common Sense isn't very Common

June 6th, 2012
12:04 pm

This, only on a larger scale

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5waof0iWE8

What could possibly go wrong :-)

Brosephus™ - NTEU member and proud of it

June 6th, 2012
12:04 pm

Doggone @ 11:53

Keep doing that, and you’re likely to trip the Mayan doom prophesy into high gear over the summer. :)

getalife

June 6th, 2012
12:04 pm

Our President opens up a double digit lead in Pa.

Great news.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

June 6th, 2012
12:05 pm

…and will never supply the world’s need for energy!

“Never” is a long time, sport.

Jm

June 6th, 2012
12:05 pm

Adam

Federal loan guarantees for a regulated utility are not extremely risky

Caveats: an unregulated nuke plant would be much riskier, and if the plant costs doubled (up $10 or $12B), then you’d have a bigger problem but still low risk for Feds

josef

June 6th, 2012
12:06 pm

SFD

Well, there’s two points of view there..some think we’ve paid them back with interest, pulling their chestnuts out of the fire and cleaning up behind them…War of 1812, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Lebanon, and looks like Syria may be next…

JamVet

June 6th, 2012
12:09 pm

Thin Guy, I think your blood sugar is low…

Ray Bradbury stories were a staple of my childhood – The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, I Sing the Body Electric and my favorite The Illustrated Man.

His prescience in F451 is obvious: it a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as being composed of factoids, partial information devoid of context.

How very true, huh?

Note that when rags complimented Jay earlier he used what phrase?

One from an absurd TV show – fair and balanced…

Gale

June 6th, 2012
12:09 pm

Doggone, I read an article – maybe a year ago- about research into using the small submarine type reactors linked together instead of the massive reactors. It was expected to be much less expensive, much safer and more manageable. I can only guess that we will not see anything like that in reality for another 20 years. Anything ready to build today was planned 20 years ago.

And, Ray Bradbury is dead? :-(

Peadawg

June 6th, 2012
12:11 pm

“Cue the, “But…but…but…Obama!” posts in 3…2…1….”

Funny how it’s usually Kam or another Democrat who brings up Obama on a subject that has nothing to do w/ him.

On topic…whatever it takes to get us some alternative to oil.

Peadawg

June 6th, 2012
12:12 pm

If only we’d stop wasting money on these stealth warships and crap that aren’t needed, we’d have more money to spend on alternative energy like this.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

June 6th, 2012
12:18 pm

Funny how it’s usually Kam or another Democrat who brings up Obama on a subject that has nothing to do w/ him.

Funny how Seabiscuit is late out of the starting gate, again.

godless heathen

June 6th, 2012
12:20 pm

josef:

from your linkee:

“NOTE: My goal is not to “scare” anyone, it is to ask questions and put pressure to ensure proper safety regulations are in place in the event of an earthquake (or more likely tornado/flood). Gainesville, Georgia was all but destroyed by a tornado, the 5th deadliest in US history. I think the United States should go through a process of reevaluating our Nuclear Plants to ensure their stability and safety.

I am not a seismologist, nor do I claim to know a lot about earthquakes,”

Enough said. Dustin thinks he has made a great discovery that none of the geologists, seismologists, or engineers at Southern Company, their consultants or the NRC have noticed.

His map doesn’t even show fault lines as he asserts.

curious

June 6th, 2012
12:22 pm

Today’s $1B will be tomorrow’s $5B.

Peadawg

June 6th, 2012
12:24 pm

“Funny how Seabiscuit is late out of the starting gate, again.”

Meetings and work…something you know nothing about. You haven’t relapsed on your squirrel fettish, have you?

Jm

June 6th, 2012
12:26 pm

Well, looks like the debate is thin

Probably because nuclear is a generally economic technology and reduces global warming

Guess we’ll call it compromise

Zombies anyone? :)

josef

June 6th, 2012
12:27 pm

josef

June 6th, 2012
12:30 pm

internet seems to have it in for the Imam’s column today…keeps flinging its own fatwah…I’ll take a break and wait until I can blog in peace…