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Cost estimate doubles for Shearon Harris expansion

Posted October 17, 2008

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— Progress Energy released an adjusted estimate Friday for the cost to build two new nuclear reactors at its Wake County facility.

The original license application for the Shearon Harris site put the cost of the project at $4.4 billion. An updated estimate filed with the Nuclear Regluatory Commission shows Progress expects the expansion to cost more than $9.3 billion.

The plant was originally planned to support four nuclear reactors, but only one was built.

A final decision on whether to build the reactors is still years away and will depend not only on public support, but on regulatory approval, predictions of energy demand and economic conditions, Progress officials said.

A new plant could be online as early as 2018 if the Nuclear Regluatory Commission approves.

North Carolina gets 32 percent of its power from five nuclear sites, 20 percent of which is supplied by Shearon Harris. Progress Energy has two other reactors in Brunswick County and Charlotte-based Duke Energy has two reactors in Cornelius, north of Charlotte.

Nationwide, 20 percent of electricity comes from 103 commercial nuclear reactors operating in 31 states.


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  • EZeegoing Oct 17, 2008

    The cost escalation without explanation is what concerns me. My take is the big wheel money pockets at PE saw what happened with the CEO compensation rage and are suddenly covering their six. This same thing happened to the banking, housing and prime rate industry. You see where that got us !!!!

  • Huey Oct 17, 2008

    Some news article! They tell us the estimate has already
    doubled yet give us not one ioda of information as to just
    why this has happened. Guess it's none of the public's business.

  • Tin Nutt Oct 17, 2008

    Progress Energy ratepayers - watch your wallet! If the construction estimate has already more than doubled before the project is started, it makes me question the integrity of their budgeting. Was this estimated low just to appease the Public Utilities Commission and make it look cheap for the ratepayers? I have no beef with nuclear power, but this is absurd. Once the plant is approved, the ratepayers will likely be on the hook for the full amount, regardless of cost overruns. I bet it doubles again before its all over with!

  • EZeegoing Oct 17, 2008

    Inflationary increase, yes I could grasp, but to more than double the cost makes me wonder what kind of ploy this is. Either Progress Energy made a massive blunder on building cost or somebody has their fingers in the cash box. Either way, as much as I support nuclear energy over fossil burning fuels, I seriously would have to question this latest estimate.