The US stops construction of 2 nuclear plants – should Finland?

Santee Cooper and South Carolina Gas & Electric, in South Carolina, have announced this week that they are stopping work on 2 unfinished nuclear reactors because of delays and cost overruns.

They were originally scheduled to be ready in 2018, and it is estimated that they would not be ready before 2021 and could more than twice the initial $11.5 billion estimate.

So far they have cost some $9 billion, remain less than 40% built.

Demand for electricity slowed as a result of improvements in energy efficiency, the soaring costs of big new power plants, and the glut of cheap natural gas from fracking.

Finland is also seeing the construction of new nuclear plants. TVO, a turnkey plant from Areva, is already way over budget and a decade behind schedule. Arbitration is the deciding factor for its final cost and that is a terribly risky way to run a project.

Fennovoima, a Russian-led project, has already been ridiculed for years, is also seeing safety and project management problems. There is actually more risk with this project in terms of costs for the owners because there is no turn-key contract.

Both have big risk factors that make their costs look suspiciously expensive compared to other newer sources of energy…

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