Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nuclear Plant Cancelled in Missouri

AmerenUE announced they will no longer pursue building a new nuclear power plant in Missouri, due to inability to obtain financing without legislative changes that would allow the utility to charge existing customers for construction work in progress.

" "A large plant would be difficult to finance under the best of conditions, but in today's credit constrained markets, without supportive state energy policies, we believe getting financial backing for these projects is impossible. Pursuing the legislation in its current form will not give us the financial and regulatory certainty we need to complete this project.”
A repeal of the state’s 30-year-old Construction Work in Progress [law] was the most controversial legislation under debate this session, with proponents and detractors taking out television ads to influence public debate.
The proposed nuclear power plant in Callaway County was estimated to cost between $7 billion and $14 billion and create 3,000 jobs."
This is very good news for consumers, as nuclear power is not only unsafe, ultra-hazardous, and produces toxic waste products that endure for thousands of years, it produces power that must be sold for 30 to 40 cents per kwh in order to pay for the plant.  A financing company must be willing to invest approximately $10 billion for a 1,000 MW plant, and $20 billion for a 2,000 MW plant, after including construction costs and interest on construction loans.  The plants require 6 to 8 years to construct, even if nothing goes wrong.  And, something almost always goes wrong.  In the final years of a long project, any delay is very costly, with interest costs of $1 billion per year at that point.  
It is good news, indeed, to see that some sanity has returned in America.  With the very low costs of natural gas, due to a glut on the market that is not likely ever to disappear, it is a wonder that any utility is even considering building a nuke.    Florida and South Carolina should take notice.
Roger E. Sowell, Esq. 


TheFatBigot said...

Renewed greetings, Mr Sowell, I hope I find you well.

As you probably know the nuclear debate is always raging over here but relative cost is very low on the agenda. Both in the UK and in Europe admiring glances are constantly cast over France which has been heavily dependent on nuclear generation for a long time and, in consequence, enjoys a hefty surplus of generating capacity (we buy some of it).

Of course build costs are higher than coal or gas plants and decommissioning costs are far higher but you do get a lot of bang for your buck (or is that power for your pound / electricity for your euro?) once it is up and running.

We have recently commissioned new gas plants because of the need to turn-off perfectly serviceable coal plants due to a European Union greenie-diktat. Nuclear, however, seems to be moving up the list as a preferred long term solution

Roger Sowell said...

Mr. FB, yes, I am well, thank you, and hope you are the same! Nicely done alliteration, by the way!

Our nuclear debate also rages on, and has become more heated lately. The staggering initial costs are giving some utilities pause, it seems. Only if government subsidizes the plant cost will they be built. The US is not in a mood currently for further subsidies, following the trillions spent on the economic crisis.

France has low-cost power only because the power plants are subsidized, so their true costs remain hidden.

I truly hope the U.K. has enough sense not to build nukes, but instead installs ocean current turbines in the massive currents flowing past the island. We will be doing that soon offshore Miami. Ocean current energy is truly green, reliable, and zero cost. No nuclear plant can match that.