NuScale’s nuclear power project is too much of a financial and environmental risk when there are cleaner energy alternatives.
Not only will NuScale’s virtually untested nuclear technology be an estimated 40% more costly than renewable energy portfolios, the project in Idaho Falls, Idaho, will also likely go exceedingly over budget.
Many recent nuclear projects nationwide have resulted in extreme cost overruns and project cancellations, the burden of which has often fallen on ratepayers. For instance, ratepayers in South Carolina will end up owing more than $6,000, to be paid in monthly installments for the next four decades for a failed nuclear power plant. And just this year, the Department of Energy gave $3.7 billion in taxpayer money to the ailing Southern Co.’s nuclear power project near Waynesboro, Ga.
Yes, UAMPS has promised a rate cap in order to protect ratepayers. But if the new, first-of-a-kind project goes over budget, will that rate cap stay? Will NuScale Power, an Oregon-based LLC, step up and pay the extra expense?
City officials in UAMPS districts should look beyond NuScale Power’s promotional presentations and consider economically competitive, safer and more sustainable energy portfolios through a more transparent, independent and robust procurement process.
Robert Goodman, Salt Lake City