'Nuclear Pork" Cut Out of Final Recovery and Reinvestment Package - ENS - 12 Feb 09
"The conference committee axed a proposal to include $50 billion in federal loan guarantees that could have been utilized by the nuclear and coal industries as well as for renewable energy projects."
Looks like Georgia Power got its own economic stimulus package that may eliminate even that concern. Trying to reduce "rate shock" with the Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) approach reminds me of the old story of slowly raising the temperature of a frog sitting in a pan of water. It doesn't turn out well for the frog.
Also, based on prior experience, "reasonable assumption" should never be used when referring to final nuclear power plant costs. Any expert saying that is probably not much of an expert. Moodys' report on prospective costs notes that at best these are educated guesses with low reliability. Back in the real world, Olkiluoto 3 in Finland and Flamanville 3 in France are both having problems.
Who’ll Curb Georgia Power’s Clout? - AJC - 12 Feb 09
"The five-member PSC, elected by the people, has a competent, well-trained if sometimes overmatched staff to help it wade through the complex details of utility regulation. That’s important, because the decisions made by the PSC affect more Georgians more directly than most decisions made by the state Legislature.
Yet on Wednesday, the state Senate voted 38-16 to weaken the PSC’s oversight of Georgia Power. State senators —- with little or no expertise in utility management, and with no staff to call upon for advice —- decided that somehow they knew better than the PSC how to handle extremely complex technical questions about utility financing and ratemaking.
Of course, the senators weren’t entirely on their own in making that decision —- they had a little input from experts at Georgia Power. The company has more than 70 lobbyists registered to protect its interests —- roughly one lobbyist for every three legislators. In fact, the legislation in question, Senate Bill 31, was largely written by the company’s lobbyists and lawyers.
Even with all that manpower, the company still needed an actual legislator to sponsor its bill. The company chose state Sen. Don Balfour, a Republican from Gwinnett County who also happens to be chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. In that post, Balfour decides which bills are allowed to come to a vote on the Senate floor, which means other legislators don’t want to make him mad by opposing a bill that he sponsors.
Georgia Power, in other words, chose its man wisely."
State Senate Approves Nuclear Power Layaway for Consumers - Atlanta Progressive News - 11 Feb 09
"Witnesses expressed confidence the project will come in on time and on budget.
'Based on what we know – that $6.4 billion recommendation is a very reasonable assumption,' Jeffrey A. Burleson, Director of Resource and Policy Planning for Georgia Power, said."