Duke Energy Carolinas announced today that it is abandoning plans to build the Lee Nuclear Station in light of the project's principal designer and contractor declaring bankruptcy. Duke's decision comes on the heels of SCANA Corp. and Santee Cooper abandoning construction on the $18 billion V.C. Summer expansion plan having already spent $9 billion on the project. "With the availability of cost effective generation from natural gas and solar and other technologies we’re able to meet our customers needs in the near term." "But nuclear will continue to be important for the company in our diverse energy mix, now and in future."
Reuters, Tom Hals, Emily Flitter: In 2012, construction of a Georgia nuclear power plant stalled for eight months as engineers waited for the right signatures and paperwork needed to ship a section of the plant from a factory hundreds of miles away. The approach - building prefabricated sections of the plants before sending them to the construction sites for assembly - was supposed to revolutionize the industry by making it cheaper and safer to build nuclear plants. But Westinghouse miscalculated the time it would take, and the possible pitfalls involved, in rolling out its innovative AP1000 nuclear plants, according to a close examination by Reuters of the projects. The miscalculations underscore the difficulties facing a global industry that aims to build about 160 reactors and is expected to generate around $740 billion in sales of equipment in services in the coming decade, according to nuclear industry trade groups.
Michael Shellenberger, Founder & President of Environmental Progress, website: www.environmentalprogress.org: "While it is tempting to blame low natural gas prices and misplaced post-Fukushima jitters, nuclear’s troubles are rooted in regulatory capture — a capture that finds its genesis in the origins of the U.S. environmental movement. This capture is now threatening to bring this climate-friendly energy source to the brink" [in the United States. Nuclear power will continue to thrive in Russia, Asia and other parts of the world not in the half century long grip of extreme environmental organizations. A world without nuclear power is a world much less well off for people and the environment. - John Shanahan, Go Nuclear, Inc. & Environmentalists for Nuclear - USA]