NRG withdraws from South Texas Nuclear Project expansion

All we know at this hour is that this is very good news.

The Dallas Morning News reported:

The second-largest power generator in the state said Tuesday it will stop spending money on plans to build two more reactors at the South Texas Project, outside of Houston. The project was doomed when a financial partner, TokyoElectric Power Co., saw its reactors in Japan explode after the earthquake.

“We have concluded that, financially, this is the end of the line for us,” said NRG chief executive David Crane. And even if the project is resurrected, “it will have to be fueled by somebody else’s financial resources.”

The decision means the one Texas nuclear project close to getting a license and federal loan guarantees won’t get built anytime soon. And it is evidence that the Japanese disaster has the potential to derail the budding U.S. nuclear power renaissance.

The NRG statement says that Toshiba may try to continue the project on its own, but the billions that NRG was going to commit will be hard to replace. Toshiba was counting on funds from Japan’s foreign investment bank, and it’s unlikely that this money will be forthcoming.

One other caveat: NRG indicated that its request for a license for the expansion and the related application to the Department of Energy for a loan guarantee will continue.

NRG will take a roughly half-billion dollar markdown on its balance sheet for the withdrawal.


About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
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