By 2017, Duke Energy had squandered billions of dollars and 13 years failing to license and build experimental nuclear reactors they had insisted would avoid the massive construction failures of the 1970s. Now, Duke is seeking approval of a carbon plan with a different type of experimental reactor – with unfinished design and already-soaring costs – and proposes to build dozens of them in the Carolinas alone.
New NC Nukes Aren't Needed
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“Duke Energy has already dragged us through this horror movie, and we can’t let them do it again,” Warren said, referring to the utility’s own efforts to build additional big nuclear plants earlier this century.
As the US nuclear “renaissance” collapses, we urge CEOs to turn hard toward climate protection
Just a week before Georgia Power witnesses are set to testify before the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) on the 13th semi-annual Vogtle Construction Monitoring report, significant project management changes and major cost increases were announced that will negatively impact customers for the already over budget two nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro along the Savannah River.
Duke Energy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday that it is suspending its application to build new reactors at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant. NC WARN welcomed the announcement but scolded the utility for wasting millions of dollars that could have been spent on energy-saving programs. “The Shearon Harris failure perfectly typifies why the U.S. nuclear ‘renaissance’ is making global warming worse,” Executive Director Jim Warren said in a statement.
A Durham-based environmental group warns utility companies are trying to add nuclear capacity without significantly reducing their use of coal power. A report from NC WARN focuses on what they call the “Southeast Five.” That includes both Duke Energy and Progress Energy. Jim Warren is executive director of NC WARN.
Solar power may be cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels and nuclear reactors within three to five years because of innovations, said Mark M. Little, the global research director for General Electric Co.
It’s too early to know the impact of Japan’s emergency on public health and the industry. But new projects worldwide likely will be delayed as the events at Fukushima are analyzed, and changes are debated in plant design, regulation and emergency planning.
Progress Energy sends out safety information manuals annually to everyone living within ten miles of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant, but critics say if something goes wrong at the plant, not nearly enough thought has gone into keeping people safe.
Duke Energy’s Jim Rogers keeps talking a good game about pursuing “a mix” of electricity technologies, but yesterday’s hearing at the NC Utilities Commission again exposed that as a public relations facade.