Report says southeast U.S. nuclear power projects will have excess costs of $20bn

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A report form an economy analyst with the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment states ratepayers in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia must either pay for $6 billion in money already invested in current nuclear power projects or face paying even more as the projects face excess costs of $20 billion or more.

The report, authored by Mark Cooper, looks at the economics of the V.C. Summer nuclear project in South Carolina and the proposed Levy nuclear project in Florida and concludes ratepayers of the utilities involved will end up paying for $10 billion or more in excess costs for each project.

Cooper said the projects are being driven not by marketplace economics, but by advanced cost recovery financing models.

“In the face of escalating nuclear construction costs, cheap natural gas, rising competition from increasingly inexpensive wind and other renewable, falling consumer demand and a heightened focus on energy efficiency, the economics of these new nuclear projects could not be more abysmal for ratepayers,” Cooper stated in a release. “The fact that advance cost recovery for nuclear reactors shifts the risk of construction from stockholders to ratepayers is the one and only thing that is keeping these uneconomical reactor projects alive today.”

The report is available online at http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Documents/PublicRiskPrivateProfit_Cooper.pdf

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