NIRS responds to Vogtle decision: This is not a “Nuclear Renaissance”

The Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) just posted this on their website:


1. The U.S. nuclear industry is experiencing the opposite of a “renaissance.” The proposed Vogtle reactors and the V.C. Summer project in South Carolina are all that is left of the once ballyhooed “nuclear renaissance” that consisted of 31 reactor applications in early 2009. The year 2011 saw the collapse of such one-time widely touted projects as the Calvert Cliffs expansion in Maryland and the South Texas Project. One out of 10 projects still in play is not a “nuclear renaissance” … it’s an industry meltdown!
2. The Vogtle reactors will not produce affordable power. Natural gas is far cheaper than nuclear power. The CEO of Exelon has stated publicly that he would not build a new nuclear reactor today because it can’t compete on a price basis in the open marketplace. A power source must be able to stand on its own two feet and be competitive, which means that “new” nuclear power is out of the question nearly everywhere.
3. A license for Vogtle does not mean the reactors will ever be completed. Licensing two new reactors at Vogtle is meaningless since obtaining a license does not mean that the reactors will ever actually be built or that they will ever produce a single kilowatt of affordable power. Historically, the granting of a construction license reveals little, if anything, about whether or not a reactor will be completed. The real world economics determine the fate of reactors. And the reality is that the lousy economics of nuclear reactor construction will be just as miserable the day after the first license is issued as they were the day before.
4. Vogtle does not have a track record of being “on time and on budget.” Vogtle does have a history that should trouble taxpayers worried about assuming responsibility for the massive loan guarantee; the original two reactors at the Georgia site took almost 15 years to build, came in 1,200 percent over budget and resulted in the largest rate hike at the time in Georgia. Additionally, the concept of “on time and on budget” is meaningless if the resulting nuclear power that would be produced is not competitive with less expensive energy sources.
5. Vogtle is “Solyndra on steroids.” The Vogtle reactor project is totally dependent on “nuclear socialism” in the form of $8.33 billion Solyndra-style, taxpayer-backed loan guarantee (in fact, more than a dozen times what was flushed down the drain at Solyndra!) and state-mandated construction work in progress (CWIP) allowing Southern Company’s largest subsidiary, Georgia Power, to charge their ratepayers now for reactors that may never be completed.
6. The “nuclear renaissance” is also not flourishing outside the U.S. Germany, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland have planned early closure and/or ruled out new reactors. Japan’s nuclear industry is on life support. While four countries (China, India, Russia and South Korea) are building new reactors, even those programs have been slowed by understandable concerns about the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.


You can read more at the NIRS website:


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.
This entry was posted in Expansion, NIRS, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Renaissance, Southern Co., Vogtle and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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