We don’t get tired of showing this photo, taken May 22, 2014, of construction of the Summer reactors–indicating just how far construction still has to go….
That didn’t take long. On Tuesday, we reported that SCANA announced at least a year’s delay in the construction of its Summer reactors. Apparently all the money from those six rate increases already imposed on South Carolina ratepayers–and the seventh it has pending–doesn’t buy decent construction help these days. Of course, having enough money never prevented construction delays in the past. And the reality is that delays cost even more money.
And that’s now true for SCANA and its largest subsidiary, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G). Today, the ratings firm Fitch downgraded both companies’ stock from “stable” to “negative.” That means both companies will have to pay higher interest rates for their loans. And despite the fact that money is being collected from ratepayers in advance of the reactors being built under South Carolina’s early cost recovery tax, it still takes loans to finance multi-billion dollar nuclear reactors. Continue reading
The Summer nuclear project, May 2014. Still a long ways–and a lot more rate increases–to go.
A few years ago, back before the nuclear “renaissance” had fizzled down to construction of four southern reactors taking advantage of utility-friendly Public Service Commissions (PSCs) that allow the utilities to treat their customers as private banks, there was a lot of boasting in the industry that this time they knew how to get it right.
The spiraling cost overruns and lengthy schedule delays that were emblematic of reactor construction in the 1970s and 1980s would be a thing of the past, the industry promised. New modular construction techniques and, of course, “lessons learned” would ensure that the renaissance reactors would be built on-time and on-budget.
Yeah, right. Continue reading
SCANA has applied for its seventh rate increase for construction of its two new Summer reactors. As you can see from this photo taken May 22, 2014, they’re a long way from being finished.
The EPA’s proposed new carbon rules have dominated the news this week, but there has been more happening–especially on the clean energy front. So let’s get right into this week’s Nuclear Newsreel…
Except that the proposed rules’ effect on nuclear power continues to be an issue and two new articles discuss how these rules, if finalized as they are currently written, would benefit the nuclear industry. Continue reading