Saturday, March 31, 2012

US Approves 4 New Nuclear Reactors in South Carolina

As Fukushima Worsens, US Approves New NukesBy Common Dreams. March 31. 

The NRC has approved two new nuclear power plants in South Carolina. (photo: Dunya News)

Excerpt: "Despite reports this week that the Fukushima nuclear situation may be even worse than previously thought, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has given approval today for two combined licenses for two nuclear reactors in South Carolina, only the second time in the last three decades that new nuclear plants have been approved in the nation....

"The NRC's decision to approve the license passed by a 4-1 vote, with the lone dissent vote coming from NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko due to safety measures raised by the Fukushima disaster. Jaczko wrote in his dissent, "I continue to believe that we should require that all Fukushima-related safety enhancements are implemented before these new reactors begin operating....

Common Dreams references a number of related articles, including one by Amy Goodman on the Obama Administration's cozy relationship with nuclear

The Wall Street Journal has the same news, but more information on financing: "US Approves Nuclear Plants in South Caroline" 3/31/2012 p. B3.

The WSJ article does note that "Industry officials say these four new reactors are likely to be the last to move forward for some time owing to the low price of natural gas."

The WSJ article also explains that ownership of the reactors is 55% held by Scana (South Carolina Electric and Gas) and 45% by the state-owned utility of Santee Cooper.

Santee Cooper is use tax-exempt bonds to pay for its 45% of the project, meaning that the public will pick up this tab.

Already the project has had to add $138 million in added costs.

Scana has not yet secured adequate funding for its 55% share, but construction is already underway.

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