May 2, 2012 | 7:25 pm
Edison International (click here) officials estimate that the company's cost for inspections and repairs at the closed San Onofre nuclear plant will be between $55 million and $65 million, but said that the costs may be recovered under a manufacturer's warranty.
The company, which revealed the figures during a conference call about its first-quarter earnings, also incurred costs of $30 million for replacement power through March 31, Edison reported. Officials did not give an estimate of what total replacement power costs will be.
The plant has been closed since Jan. 31, when a steam generator tube in the plant's reactor Unit 3 sprung a leak, releasing a small amount of radioactive steam. Since then, 192 tubes in Unit 2 and 317 tubes in Unit 3 have been taken out of service due to excessive wear.
San Onofre’s four steam generators were replaced within about the last two years at a cost of $671 million, to be recovered from ratepayers. They were intended to last at least through the end of the plant’s current license in 2022....
Progress Energy, based in North Carolina, is seeking rate hikes. What is this all about? The plants underestimate the maintenance of their facilities and now they want to dump more of their mistakes and mismanagement on consumers? Did they underestimate the dangers they have to protect citizens from and now they are using that reality to justify rate increases? Want happened to alternatives if the cost of nuclear energy is going to increase? It seems to me since the cost of products from the petroleum industry has gone up so ridiculously high, nuclear is seeking increases as a cheaper alternative and using any excuse to do it.
Wed May 2, 2012 12:09pm EDT
...In addition to the proposed new reactors, Progress wants to increase the output of the 860-megawatt Crystal River nuclear plant in Citrus County, near Levy.
Florida's nuclear cost-recovery rules, which are similar to regulations in other U.S. Southeast states seeking more nuclear power, allow utilities to recover development, construction and interest costs for new nuclear projects.
Georgia and South Carolina are using similar cost-recovery rules to encourage units of Southern Co and Scana Corp and partners to build new reactors in their states.
Utilities say the rules make reactor construction possible and help reduce customer costs.
Florida wants more nuclear power in part because natural gas fuels about 60 percent of the state's capacity, Progress said.
"Overdependence on any fuel can expose customers to fuel cost spikes and supply disruptions. (Florida's utility regulator) has cited the growing lack of fuel diversity in the state as a major strategic concern," Progress said.
Natural gas is cheap now, near a 10-year low of around $2.30 per million British thermal units, but over the past decade it has averaged above $6 and spiked to more than $15....