Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 12:35 EDT

Report: Southeast U.S. Ratepayers Will Be Gouged For Billions Of Dollars In Excess Costs If Nuclear Reactor Projects Proceed

March 12, 2013

New Study Focuses on “Uneconomical” Reactor Projects in FL, SC, and GA Financed by “Advance Cost Recovery” Schemes; Lessons Seen for IA, UT, MO, and Other States Toying With ACR Financing.

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A report to be released at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday (March 14, 2013) by a Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment expert will show that ratepayers in three states – Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina – would be better off “eating” $6 billion already invested in new nuclear reactor projects and focusing instead on producing or conserving the same amount of electricity by other cheaper means. In so doing, ratepayers in the three states will avoid tens of billions of dollars in excess costs for the economically uncompetitive new reactors.

The report from economic analyst Mark Cooper will show that these nuclear reactor projects — facing rising construction costs, stiff competition from cheaper alternative energy sources, and falling demand — are now only possible through the use of “advance cost recovery” (ACR) financing schemes provided for in state laws. Under these laws, monopoly utilities, unlike competitive industries, are able to bill ratepayers for construction costs long before a single kilowatt of power is produced.

Beyond the southeast U.S., the Cooper study will resonate in states such as Iowa, Missouri, and Utah, which have pondered ACR-style financing of traditional large-scale nuclear reactors and “small modular reactors,” which recently received the 2013 Golden Fleece Award for tax dollar waste from Taxpayers for Common Sense.

News event speakers will be:

  • Mark Cooper, senior fellow for economic analysis, Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vermont Law School, and author of “Policy Challenges of Nuclear Reactor Construction, Cost Escalation and Crowding Out Alternatives” (2009).
  • Peter A. Bradford, adjunct professor at the Vermont Law School, a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and a former utility commission chair in New York and Maine.

TO PARTICIPATE: You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 11 a.m. EDT on March 14, 2013 by dialing 1 (888) 437-2685. Ask for the “nuclear economics report” telenews event.

CAN’T PARTICIPATE?: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at and http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Academics/Environmental_Law_Center/Institutes_and_Initiatives/News.htm as of 5 p.m. EDT on March 14, 2013.

SOURCE Vermont Law School, Institute for Energy and the Environment, South Royalton, VT

Source: PR Newswire