In Europe it’s already happening: solar and wind are causing
bond-rater Moody’s to warn of downgrades of energy companies
that depend on heat from burning coal, gas, or biomass.
Moody’s earlier even warned the Bank of England
of a potential carbon bubble developing.
If combustion energy plants are affected like this,
the credit effects will be even bigger on even-more-expensive
nuclear plants, which Moody’s called a
bet-the-farm risk way back in 2009.
“Large increases in renewables have had a profound negative impact
on power prices and the competitiveness of thermal generation
companies in Europe,” said Scott Phillips, an assistant vice
president and analyst at Moody’s Infrastructure Finance Group, in a
“What were once considered stable companies have seen their business
models severely disrupted and we expect steadily rising levels of
renewable energy output to further affect European utilities’
“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.
After years of protests and the Three Mile Island nuclear accident
the New Hampshire legislature passed a law that denied
the Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH)
Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) charges
before the Seabrook nuclear plant
provided electricity to its customers.
One of two planned Seabrook reactors did finally go into service in 1990,
more than a decade late and far over budget.
the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled the anti-CWIP law was constitutional,
and PSNH went bankrupt in 1988:
investor-owned utility since the Great Depression to declare
Seabrook was the last nuclear reactor built in the United States.
Which has CWIP.
Maybe we should
By January 1972 PSNH had decided not only to build a nuclear plant
at Seabrook but also to have it consist of two 1,150-megawatt units,
to be completed in 1979. PSNH was to own 50 percent of the $1.3 billion
project and share the remaining investment with other New
England utilities. In January 1974 the New Hampshire Site Evaluation
Committee, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and other
regulatory bodies had issued the basic permits, but interveners in
the case succeeded in having the New Hampshire Supreme Court
overturn these permits. After repeated appeals and rehearings PSNH
received its construction permit in July 1976—and experienced
its first protest at the planned site.
There followed a decade of other protests at the site, inside
regulatory chambers, and in New Hampshire and Washington courtrooms.
The 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear-power plant in
Pennsylvania—to name but one event that triggered concern