GPSC Candidate Patty Durand: Plant Vogtle Miseries

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 29, 2023 No Comments

“… costs for Plant Vogtle have ballooned past $34 billion, the equivalent of $15,000/kW, making it the most expensive power plant ever built on earth.”

“… no, it’s not ‘litigation’ ‘anti-nuke greenies’ or ‘overburdened regulations’ that’s behind Plant Vogtle’s failures. It’s incompetence. Or let’s be charitable: Is this thing just too hard to build?” (Patty Durand, below)

Patty Durand, candidate for the Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) in a special election this year, is running on a platform, “let’s regulate utilities better.” I would prefer her tag line to also be, ‘let’s remove franchise protection from Georgia Power and the rest of the Southern Company utilities for competition.’ But take whatever is available in a crony business/regulator state, long exposed by Jim Clarkson (here).

Candidate Durand is focused on the Plant Vogtle #3 and #4 boondoggle, long chronicled at MasterResource.…

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Plant Vogtle #3 and #4: More Issues (costs, delay, partner opt-downs)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 2, 2022 No Comments

Editor Update: Since this article was prepared, Southern Company (the parent of Georgia Power) announced another cost increase and delay.

“Since September 2018, the project budget has increased five times, and is now expected to total more than $30 billion [from $14 billion in 2009].”

The bad news continues at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle #3 and #4, the first nuclear units to be constructed in six years. The most complicated, expensive, and hazardous way to boil water, (government-enabled) nuclear remains a mirage of cost-effective engineering.

A project that broke ground in 2013, expected to cost $14 billion with start-up in 2016 (Unit 3) and 2017 (Unit 4), is now past $30 billion with estimated start dates in 2023/24. The U.S. Department of Energy has contributed loan guarantees of $12 billion to the project.…

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Plant Vogtle Went Backward in 2021 (can nuclear improve, become cost-effective)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 4, 2022 No Comments

2021 was supposed to be the year of progress and a final close to the disasterous Plant Vogtle #3 and #4. But it was anything but with early 2022 looking like things have retrogressed.

Early in 2021, crews at Georgia Power’s nuclear expansion site at Plant Vogtle were struggling to find all the leaks in a pool built to hold spent, highly radioactive fuel. They added air pressure under the floor of the water-filled pool, hoping air bubbles would pinpoint flawed welds. It didn’t work. So an engineer doubled the air pressure.

The result: The pool’s steel floor plates were damaged, rendering them unusable. New ones had to be manufactured. The fixes and rechecks of the pool have taken nearly a year and cost millions of dollars. It’s been that kind of a year at Plant Vogtle.

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Nuclear Fiasco: Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 ‘Adjustment’ (what’s new?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 10, 2021 6 Comments

“As we’ve said from the beginning of this project, we are going to build these units the right way…. We have endured and overcome some extraordinary circumstances building the first new nuclear units in the U.S. in more than 30 years. Despite these challenges, progress at the site has been steady and evident.”

– Chris Womack, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power, October 21, 2021

Forget the U.S. Synthetic Fuel Administration of the 1970s. Forget the Obama Administration’s Solyndra project. The biggest debacle in modern U.S. energy history appears to be in Georgia, and the saga continues.

And far from unique, the latest-and-greatest in nuclear (this was supposed to be the breakthrough) is a warning sign about nuclear power in general. It has always needed government subsidies and protection. And it was a setup train wreck under lenient public utility regulation that allowed the franchised monopoly utility to recover all costs and a “reasonable” rate of return on invested capital.…

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Plant Vogtle: More Bad News (Georgia Power’s philosophic fraud, imprudence)

By Jim Clarkson -- January 3, 2019 2 Comments Continue Reading

Betting the House on Plant Vogtle

By Joseph Pokalsky -- September 18, 2018 4 Comments Continue Reading

Plant Boondoggle (Georgia Power’s Vogtle 3 & 4)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 18, 2021 2 Comments Continue Reading

Vogtle Plant: Nuclear Power’s Failed Renaissance

By Jim Clarkson -- January 6, 2016 2 Comments Continue Reading

Anti-Nuclear Group Uses Free Market Arguments against Vogtle Plant

By Jim Clarkson -- December 8, 2015 No Comments Continue Reading

Still More Vogtle Nuclear Delays (how will it end?)

By Kennedy Maize -- February 20, 2023 2 Comments Continue Reading