Xcel defends expensive nuclear upgrade

  • Article by: David Shaffer , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 19, 2013 - 11:11 AM

Improvements to its Monticello nuclear power plant cost more than double the original estimate.

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drposterOct. 18, 13 6:09 PM

Odd angle on the cost of the upgrades. I would ask the writer to take the same approach and look at our current light rail situation. Initial costs estimates have nearly doubled without one inch of rail being laid and the projected maint costs will be millions per year with no end.

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markapOct. 18, 13 6:57 PM

What is going to happen to all of the waste? It will still be deadly 50,000 years from now. Using nuclear power is awfully short sighted.

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alansonOct. 18, 13 7:07 PM

Has there ever been a cost estimate for work on a nuclear power plant that wasn't overrun by 100% ? Why do regulators and utilities make the same mistakes over and over again? Probably because they are both following legally mandated procedures rather than listening to their engineers who understand the actual physical constraints on the projects.

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jim4848Oct. 18, 13 7:25 PM

Seems like a lot of money for 60 year old technology.

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supervon2Oct. 18, 13 7:57 PM

Nobody mentions how much those windmills really cost without government assistance. The problem is that common sense does not make sense to the left side of the isle.

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bosshogOct. 18, 13 8:33 PM

supervon2 - perhaps you don't realize how much subsidies the nuclear power and fossil fuel industry gets. During the Bush administration they passed a law that says the government will pay for any cleanup of a nuclear meltdown. This is so they do not have to pay for catastrophic insurance themselves.

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esandeenOct. 18, 1310:17 PM

"Nobody mentions how much those windmills really cost without government assistance." - the assistance is in the form of a Production Tax Credit (PTC). It's 2.2 cents per kWh ($0.022/kWh). In 2011 & 2012 wind producers sold energy at an average of $0.04/kWh. If you take out the PTC, that's $0.062/kWh. That is what it costs w/o "government assistance." The PTC costs around $3.5 billion in a year. During operation, those wind farms pay $2.5 billion in taxes to the feds and $1.2 billion to states. On net, they pay more taxes than they receive in credits. (I do think the PTC should eventually ramp down & go away over time, but in the scope of US energy investments, it's not that much).

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mdcastleOct. 18, 1310:18 PM

As valuable as nuclear power is we can afford to pay people to guard to guard waste for 1,000 years, and by then we'll have figured out what to do with it for the next 49,000.

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ThegonagleOct. 19, 13 2:04 AM

Being downwind, yet dependent on that nuclear boiler, as long as they have conscientious workers and back-up plans to their back-up plans to keep that thing from nuking us. They should do what they need to do. I'd also rather hope they don't go trying to extend its life past 60 years in the future. I thought most NPPs from that era were engineered to last 50!

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gking2mnOct. 19, 13 4:26 AM

junk it then see the cost

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