Economist Files Opposition to Progress Energy Nuclear Reactors - St. Petersburg Times - 16 Jul 09
"Cooper told the Florida Public Service Commission that it is 'not prudent' to proceed with plans for building new Progress Energy nuclear reactors in Levy County and a similar Florida Power & Light project near Miami. Cooper estimated it would cost $1.9 trillion to $4.1 trillion more over the life of 100 new nuclear reactors than it would to generate the same electricity from a combination of more energy efficiency and renewables."
Separately, the business-affiliated group Associated Industries of Florida intervened for the first time on a rate case, backing Florida Power and Light's base rate increase. Associated Industries did not take a stance 'at this time' on Progress Energy's filings. Progress is seeking to raise its base rates 30 percent and wants to add roughly $3 to the average monthly bill to help pay for its planned nuclear plant."
Clean Energy Group: 2 Leading Experts Argue New Nuclear Reactors in Florida Should Stop Now - Stockhouse.com - 16 Jun 09
"A leading national expert on the financing of nuclear power reactors filed testimony Wednesday with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) in which he warns that it is "not prudent" to proceed with plans for building new nuclear reactors at Florida Power & Light's Turkey Point nuclear plant near Miami and the proposed Progress Energy of Florida's Levy County site. Economist Dr. Mark Cooper filed testimony along with Mr. Arnie Gundersen on behalf of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, an organization that has intervened in the case."
"Cooper's testimony states, 'The decision by the utilities to build nuclear reactors was based on several important assumptions that have been called into question in the past year and a half.' Some of these assumptions included that the utilities assumed a high rate of demand growth; they downplayed the contribution that efficiency and renewables can make to meet the need for electricity; and they used a low estimate of the cost of new nuclear reactors."
"Mr. Gundersen's testimony stated that it is likely that the proposed projects will experience construction delays and cost overruns in the future that will negatively impact Floridians, if these reactors are ever built. He also argued that these delays were not properly accounted for by either utility. Mr. Gundersen highlighted that these extra costs and scheduling slippages will be due to licensing delays, worldwide material shortages, a worldwide shortage of skilled personnel, and the fact that these nuclear reactors are extraordinarily complex to build.
He has a BS and ME cum laude in Nuclear Engineering from Rensselaer (RPI), and was formerly licensed as a nuclear reactor operator. He was a Senior Vice President of a nuclear licensee before becoming an independent engineering consultant and now works with Fairewinds Associates in Vermont."