The accelerating revolution in renewables has allowed solar, wind
and other green sources to outstrip atomic reactors in cost, time to
build, ecological impact and safety. As billions pour into
Solartopian sources, private investment in atomic energy has all but
disappeared—except where there are massive taxpayer subsidies.
Even that’s not enough. In 2011, President Obama handed $8.33
billion in federal loan guarantees to the builders of two reactors
at Georgia’s Vogtle. But Peach State ratepayers are already being
soaked for billions more in pre-payments, and the cost of the
project is soaring. A parallel financial disaster looms at the
Robinson site in neighboring South Carolina. Though the industry
assumes these four reactors will eventually be finished, economic
realities may say otherwise.
Cost estimates for new nukes have been soaring even before
construction begins. Even with federal money, the builders still
demand that state ratepayers foot the bill as the process proceeds,
meaning consumers are on the hook for multiple billions even if the
reactors never open. Pitched battles over this Construction Work in
Progress scam have already been won by consumers in Missouri and are
being fought in Iowa and elsewhere. As the years of building drag
on, costs will escalate while renewables continue to become cheaper.
Sooner or later, construction is likely to stop, as it did at
numerous projects in the 1970s and 1980s which were never finished.
We can end CWIP in Georgia.
It will benefit Georgia Power and the EMCs as well as all the rest of us
when we stop wasting tax and customer dollars on boondoggles like Plant Vogtle
or biomass or private prisons and get on with clean, profitable, job-creating
renewable energy in Georgia: wind off the coast and sun inland.
“378:30-a Public Utility Rate Base; Exclusions. Public utility rates or
charges shall not in any manner be based on the cost of construction
work in progress. At no time shall any rates or charges be based upon
any costs associated with construction work if said construction work is
not completed. All costs of construction work in progress, including,
but not limited to, any costs associated with constructing, owning,
maintaining or financing construction work in progress, shall not be
included in a utility’s rate base nor be allowed as an expense for rate
making purposes until, and not before, said construction project is
actually providing service to consumers.”
Why were only 12% of the projected 1000 nuclear plants built in the U.S. by
the year 2000?
Because of the no nukes movement started in Seabrook, New Hampshire
And because New Hampshire banned CWIP.
Here in Georgia in 2012 we can cut to the chase and do what they
did that worked.
Thirty years ago this month, in the small seacoast town of Seabrook,
New Hampshire, a force of mass non-violent green advocacy collided
with the nuke establishment.
A definitive victory over corporate power was won. And the global
grassroots “No Nukes” movement emerged as one of the most important
and effective in human history.
It still writes the bottom line on atomic energy and global warming.
All today’s green energy battles can be dated to May, 13, 1977, when
550 Clamshell Alliance protestors walked victoriously free after
thirteen days of media-saturated imprisonment. Not a single US
reactor ordered since that day has been completed.
Richard Nixon had pledged to build 1000 nukes in the US by the year
2000. But the industry peaked at less than 120. Today, just over a
hundred operate. No US reactor ordered since 1974 has been
completed. The Seabrook demonstrations—which extended to
civil disobedience actions on Wall Street—were key to keeping
nearly 880 US reactors unbuilt.