Expert Estimates Billions in Excess Costs If Nuclear Power Projects Continue in Southeast

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This news release was provided by PRNewswire.

A Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment expert will show that ratepayers in three states — Georgia, Florida and South Carolina — would be better off “eating” the $6 billion already invested in new nuclear reactor projects and focusing instead on producing or

conserving the same amount of electricity by other cheaper means. In so doing, ratepayers in the three states will avoid tens of billions of dollars in excess costs for the economically uncompetitive new reactors.

The report from economic analyst Mark Cooper will show that these nuclear reactor projects — facing rising construction costs, stiff competition from cheaper alternative energy sources, and falling demand — are now only possible through the use of “advance cost recovery” (ACR) financing schemes provided for in-state laws. Under these laws, monopoly utilities, unlike competitive industries, are able to bill ratepayers for construction costs long before a single kilowatt of power is produced.

Beyond the southeast U.S., the Cooper study will resonate in states such as Iowa, Missouri and Utah, which have pondered ACR-style financing of traditional large-scale nuclear reactors and “small modular reactors,” which recently received the 2013 Golden Fleece Award for tax dollar waste from Taxpayers for Common Sense.

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