Nuclear Costs

Estimates for new reactor construction costs continue to sky-rocket. Conservative estimates range between $6 and $12 billion per reactor but Standard & Poor's predicts a continued rise. The nuclear power industry is lobbying for heavy federal subsidization including unlimited loan guarantees but the Congressional Budget Office predicts the risk of default will be well over 50 percent, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Beyond Nuclear opposes taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for the nuclear energy industry.




Vogtle Reactor Project Collapse Seen in Wake of VC Summer Project Abandonment; 2016 State Bailout Push for Nuclear Had Already Faltered in 2017, Budget-Busting Bill for U.S. Taxpayers If Foolhardy National Bailout Proceeds.

WASHINGTON, D.C.///August 3, 2017///The abandonment this week of the V.C. Summer nuclear project in South Carolina heralds the likely demise of “new” nuclear in the United States (including the Vogtle project in Georgia and North Anna 3 in Virginia) and also should put an end to state or federal bailouts for the failing nuclear industry, according to four experts who held a media briefing today.

Nuclear economist Dr. Mark Cooper, senior fellow for economic analysis, Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School, said the V.C. Summer shutdown should lead to a similar step at the Vogtle project in Georgia and to a renewed focus on renewable energy...

Read the full 08.03.17 news release.
Listen to the 08.03.17 news briefing.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Max Karlin (703) 276-3255 or


Southern Co.: Vogtle nuclear project tab rises to $25B

As reported by Seeking Alpha:

SO discloses it will cost at least $25.2B to complete the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, raising new questions about whether the sole remaining nuclear facility under construction in the U.S. will get built.

The report of the escalating expenses, which have nearly doubled over the past nine years, comes two days after SCANA Corp. abandoned a similar project in South Carolina that also followed years of delays and rising costs.

This story has also been reported on by Dow Jones Newswires.

Given that both two-unit new build projects, in both GA and SC, now admit price tags of $25 billion+ each, this means that each reactor unit would cost more than $12.5 billion to built. This is around double the initial estimated price tag.


SCE&G and VC Summer, by the numbers

Published by The State in South Carolina, summarizing the massive cost overruns (in the many billions of dollars), at ratepayer expense, that led to Westinghouse Nuclear's bankruptcy, and the cancellation of the Summer Units 2 & 3 proposed new reactor construction projects.


Dr. Mark Cooper: The Failure of the Nuclear Gamble in South Carolina

Regulators can save consumers billions by pulling the plug on Summer 2 & 3, already years behind schedule and billions over budget; things are likely to get much worse if the project continues.

So warns Dr. Mark Cooper, in a new report. Cooper is Senior Fellow for Economic Analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School.

Cooper prepared this report on behalf of Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club, in support of their complaint before the South Carolina Public Service Commission.

Friends of the Earth issued a press release. It contains links to Dr. Cooper's report; a Summary of Key Findings; and the Complaint filed on June 22, 2017 by Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club with South Carolina Public Service Commission, linked under “matters” in Docket 2017-207-E (Dr. Cooper serves as the two groups' expert witness on this Complaint).


Beyond Nuclear joins opposition to extending production tax credits for new reactors years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget

"Burning Money" image by Gene Case of Avenging Angels. It was featured on a 2003 Nation magazine cover, accompanying an article by Christian Parenti about the nuclear power relapse.Beyond Nuclear has joined in coalition with a dozen more organizations, sending a letter to U.S. House of Representatives leadership, Re: Opposition to H.R. 1551 – amending tax credit provisions for “advanced” nuclear power.

The groups are protesting efforts to reward nuclear utilities, and even reactor vendors and uranium mining companies, for the failures at such new reactor construction sites as Vogtle 3 & 4 in GA, and Summer 2 & 3 in SC.

These proposed new reactors are each billions of dollars over budget, and many years behind schedule. And yet, this legislation would extend production tax credits for new nuclear generation, because the half-built reactors are going to miss their deadline for taking advantage of the subsidy. The subsidy was first enacted in 2005 under the Energy Policy Act signed by George W. Bush. Many of these same environmental coalition groups opposed the production tax credits 12 years ago, and opposed numerous other nuclear power subsidies to boot!

Extending the production tax credit could cost U.S. taxpayers many billions of dollars, if the new reactors are ever actually completed, and generate electricity.