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South Carolina Nuclear power plant mess

Old 02-09-2019, 08:49 AM
  #21  
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I doubt the thousand dollars is coming. Have they put in the rate cut? I know I got some kind of one time credit around October. Bibthink that was a result of some pre-merger lawsuit

I still don’t know how much your average monthly bill had to be to to get a $1,000 rebate. I don’t think I ever saw an explanation for how that was calculated. Does your average power bill have to be $500 a month in the summertime for a decade to get that?

The Santee Cooper “divesture” will be interesting to say the least. Apparently there were 4 non-binding bids to take the thing over completely. That thing is a heaping pile of mess. SC has gotten into all kinds of weird contracts at the bequest of the state politicians in the name of economic development.

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Old 02-09-2019, 08:59 AM
  #22  
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Default South Carolina nuclear power plant mess . . .

Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
what is the "settlement" to the rate payers supposed to be- How much? Any rumors?
Edward: This entire project is an unmitigated - DISASTER.

This may be TMI (Too Much Information) for some, but it should serve as a warning to ALL ratepayers of ALL utilities.

I have lived in South Carolina for over 21 years. I am in an unusual position; not only am I a "ratepayer" (someone who always pays their monthly power bills) I am a also shareholder of SCANA (the holding company for SCE&G (the actual electrical/gas utility involved).

Curiously, about 17 years ago, both SCE&G and SCANA started to build major headquarters facilities for their executive offices. Glassed in offices, beautiful landscaping, reflecting pools, you name it, they built it - not once, but TWICE!!!. I actually attended an annual shareholder meeting to pose a question: "Why does SCANA (the holding company for SCE&G) and SCE&G need separate "headquarters" facilities when they will built less than a mile apart?" Wouldn't it be cheaper and more efficient to have both operations in the same facilities? You had think I farted in church. I was asked to leave the meeting. The next question I wanted to pose was" "with all of the vacant retail mall space available in Columbia, SC., why don't we convert the retail mall space to executive offices - for FAR less money"?

Subsequently, SCANA & SCE&G spent almost $200,000,000 on their brand new executive offices - paid for by the lowly ratepayers of SCE&G. Remember them?

Then, about ten years ago SCE&G starts working with the politicians in the state of South Carolina to get their "blessings" to increase utility rates with a massive one time rate increase to pay for ALL of the construction costs of two new nuclear power plants. The project is approved, the ratepayers "agree" to go along. Then, during construction of the two nuclear plants, rates are ADDITIONALLY increased not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, not five times not six times, not seven times but eight MORE "one time" further rate increases are shoved down the throats of the lowly ratepayers. Who continue to pay their utility bills. In the interim, executives of SCANA & SCE&G take hundreds of millions of dollars of "performance" bonuses for how well they are managing the project..

Then, not long ago, SCANA/SCE&G decide to "pull the plug" (pardon the awful pun) on the entire construction project of the two nuclear plants and now the ratepayers (remember them?) get stuck with the bill.

Did the executives of SCANA/SCE&G get fired for this? No.
Did the executives of SCANA/SCE&G have to repay their performance bonuses? No.

As I said this entire project was, is, and will continue to be an unmitigated - DISASTER. Especially for the ratepayers who got stuck with the bill.

There is a LOT more going on behind the scenes - things that are kept from ratepayers, but I will not bore you with THOSE details. One thing I have learned is that everyone needs to pay attention to what goes on in your utilities. All of us are getting screwed. You have no idea how bad it is until you start doing research and asking questions.

Oh.

In answer to your question about how much ratepayers will receive from the "settlement?"

Zero.

Zilce.

Nada.

Nice, huh?
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:22 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by SeaNile Boater View Post
Lots of these "nuts" weigh hundreds of lbs. and legitimate for the application on some systems. Your "reason" is severely flawed. Everything is under strict audits.
I quoted right out of the article that was posted above... it wasn't "my" reason.

Originally Posted by NCSUboater View Post
The nuts aren't that unrealistic. I once designed some titanium bolts for a Periscope that were upwards of $600 a pop.
Curious what you thought of that... was it such a unique application that it required a bolt to be designed? And did it have to be titanium?

I don't doubt there could be a legitimate need and reason for some of these. Not unlike the "$600 coffee cup" for the C130's. But I'm also sure there are abuses too.

Originally Posted by Bottom Scratcher View Post
<snip>
Who continue to pay their utility bills. In the interim, executives of SCANA & SCE&G take hundreds of millions of dollars of "performance" bonuses for how well they are managing the project..

Then, not long ago, SCANA/SCE&G decide to "pull the plug" (pardon the awful pun) on the entire construction project of the two nuclear plants and now the ratepayers (remember them?) get stuck with the bill.

Did the executives of SCANA/SCE&G get fired for this? No.
Did the executives of SCANA/SCE&G have to repay their performance bonuses? No.
I'll bet there are a lot of folks who made a pretty penny on such a big project and a lot of companies banked a bunch too. Not sure why there isn't a larger amount held back that would be due on delivery.


Also wonder what that 6 years of waiting for regulatory approval does to a project like this... that has to cost a pretty penny too.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:29 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Bottom Scratcher View Post
Edward: This entire project is an unmitigated - DISASTER.

This may be TMI (Too Much Information) for some, but it should serve as a warning to ALL ratepayers of ALL utilities.

I have lived in South Carolina for over 21 years. I am in an unusual position; not only am I a "ratepayer" (someone who always pays their monthly power bills) I am a also shareholder of SCANA (the holding company for SCE&G (the actual electrical/gas utility involved).

Curiously, about 17 years ago, both SCE&G and SCANA started to build major headquarters facilities for their executive offices. Glassed in offices, beautiful landscaping, reflecting pools, you name it, they built it - not once, but TWICE!!!. I actually attended an annual shareholder meeting to pose a question: "Why does SCANA (the holding company for SCE&G) and SCE&G need separate "headquarters" facilities when they will built less than a mile apart?" Wouldn't it be cheaper and more efficient to have both operations in the same facilities? You had think I farted in church. I was asked to leave the meeting. The next question I wanted to pose was" "with all of the vacant retail mall space available in Columbia, SC., why don't we convert the retail mall space to executive offices - for FAR less money"?

Subsequently, SCANA & SCE&G spent almost $200,000,000 on their brand new executive offices - paid for by the lowly ratepayers of SCE&G. Remember them?

Then, about ten years ago SCE&G starts working with the politicians in the state of South Carolina to get their "blessings" to increase utility rates with a massive one time rate increase to pay for ALL of the construction costs of two new nuclear power plants. The project is approved, the ratepayers "agree" to go along. Then, during construction of the two nuclear plants, rates are ADDITIONALLY increased not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, not five times not six times, not seven times but eight MORE "one time" further rate increases are shoved down the throats of the lowly ratepayers. Who continue to pay their utility bills. In the interim, executives of SCANA & SCE&G take hundreds of millions of dollars of "performance" bonuses for how well they are managing the project..

Then, not long ago, SCANA/SCE&G decide to "pull the plug" (pardon the awful pun) on the entire construction project of the two nuclear plants and now the ratepayers (remember them?) get stuck with the bill.

Did the executives of SCANA/SCE&G get fired for this? No.
Did the executives of SCANA/SCE&G have to repay their performance bonuses? No.

As I said this entire project was, is, and will continue to be an unmitigated - DISASTER. Especially for the ratepayers who got stuck with the bill.

There is a LOT more going on behind the scenes - things that are kept from ratepayers, but I will not bore you with THOSE details. One thing I have learned is that everyone needs to pay attention to what goes on in your utilities. All of us are getting screwed. You have no idea how bad it is until you start doing research and asking questions.

Oh.

In answer to your question about how much ratepayers will receive from the "settlement?"

Zero.

Zilce.

Nada.

Nice, huh?
Without arguing, which won't make a difference, you really to look deeply into why there were so many cost overruns on not only their nuclear plants but everyone else's. There is a very specific reason no new plants have come on-line in the past 29 years.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:54 AM
  #25  
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I don't know much. I do know i haven't received any rebates or checks. I had four SCEG bills at the time the rebate was announced.

Was already spending that money in my head, but it still hasn't come.

Its a pretty big mess, I know that much. And we (as the ratepayers) are taking the hit.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:28 AM
  #26  
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Biggest 2 mistakes IMO.

1) both this project and Plant Vogel in GA were allowed to proceed without finalized reactor plans. Who the hell authorized construction start on something of this magnitude without complete, bulletproof designs being in place.

2) SC chose to abandon the project and take no action to preserve the site. This is the biggest part of the boondoggle. The feds have agreed to help figure out how to bring Plant Vogel. This was already being looked into at the time the determination was made for abandonment. Now all that federal money being spent to finish the designs gets half the return that it otherwise could have had the project in SC been properly mothballed. I’m not much on federal bailouts, but IMO it makes sense for the Feds do so on a loan basis given this is a utility situation, and the customer base is captive with no choice.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:11 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Biggest 2 mistakes IMO.

1) both this project and Plant Vogel in GA were allowed to proceed without finalized reactor plans. Who the hell authorized construction start on something of this magnitude without complete, bulletproof designs being in place.
Can you elaborate on this regarding Plant Vogtle? I assume you are referring to Units 3 & 4. There is quite a process to get approval to build a nuclear power plant and it doesn't all happen at once and then just get built.

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Old 02-09-2019, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by km1125 View Post
Curious what you thought of that... was it such a unique application that it required a bolt to be designed? And did it have to be titanium?
Had to do with some existing design constraints we were working with... It was a ~1.5" bolt or thereabouts and the length required was such that it wasn't standard. Titanium for strength, weight savings, and corrosion resistance. Very low volume so it was cheaper to go custom machined. Certainly not the approach I would take for production quantities.

​​​​
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:55 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by rudeskawn View Post
Can you elaborate on this regarding Plant Vogtle? I assume you are referring to Units 3 & 4. There is quite a process to get approval to build a nuclear power plant and it doesn't all happen at once and then just get built.
westinghouse had not finalized engineering side of the design prior to construction start. The overall design was there, but essentially the component level detail was not. Correcting issues along the way that were engineeered improperly during the course of construction contributed to this, and the issues compounded due to mismanagement as time went on.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:23 AM
  #30  
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whats the best choice for the homeowner
1. go with the settlement from the power company got a letterseveral days ago?
or
2. join the class action suit- got a letter yesterday ? seems the lawyers will take most of the class action suit money
?
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
westinghouse had not finalized engineering side of the design prior to construction start. The overall design was there, but essentially the component level detail was not. Correcting issues along the way that were engineeered improperly during the course of construction contributed to this, and the issues compounded due to mismanagement as time went on.
That's not unusual particularly on a large or massive project. Get the big design out of the way and work the details later. If they really had to have everything 100% nailed down before starting construction the pre-construction costs would skyrocket, especially since the would have had to plan for something ~10 years in the future.

I suspect a lot of the change orders were not because it's what they "needed" to do but what someone (regulatory or otherwise) "wanted" to do and the checks were rolling in anyways.

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Old 02-10-2019, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Biggest 2 mistakes IMO.

1) both this project and Plant Vogel in GA were allowed to proceed without finalized reactor plans. Who the hell authorized construction start on something of this magnitude without complete, bulletproof designs being in place.

2) SC chose to abandon the project and take no action to preserve the site. This is the biggest part of the boondoggle. The feds have agreed to help figure out how to bring Plant Vogel. This was already being looked into at the time the determination was made for abandonment. Now all that federal money being spent to finish the designs gets half the return that it otherwise could have had the project in SC been properly mothballed. I’m not much on federal bailouts, but IMO it makes sense for the Feds do so on a loan basis given this is a utility situation, and the customer base is captive with no choice.
It does not matter how many times they re-design those plants. Once the design is complete a regulation will be changed, another redesign will be necessary and the plant's cost will go up. Let me repeat myself; no nuclear plants have come on-line in the US for almost 3 decades because half the country believes they're evil.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:24 AM
  #33  
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And nukes continue to deliver the cheapest MW.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:13 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
whats the best choice for the homeowner
1. go with the settlement from the power company got a letterseveral days ago?
or
2. join the class action suit- got a letter yesterday ? seems the lawyers will take most of the class action suit money
?
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Once again Ed, GREAT questions.

There is another issue that may affect you - you might be on the Santee-Cooper side of the debacle. I am not. I only went down to the state capital and examined the FOIR (Freedom of Information Requests) documents pertaining to the mess. I ignored the FOIR on Santee-Cooper.

Personally, (even though I am shareholder of SCANA) I have always opted for forcing SCANA/SCE&G into Chapter 13 bankruptcy, While doing this, I would lose a five figure common stock investment, Ch 13 would force an "independent" judge to review all of the claims in the case. NO politicians/bureaucrats/special interests/banks, etc.

To me, doing business has risks.

Why should the banks, Westinghouse, Toshiba, or ANY of the suppliers to this debacle come out whole? They should not.

The lowly ratepayers - furthest from the lousy management, furthest from financial "gains" should NOT be "picking up the tab" for these clowns.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:11 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Bottom Scratcher View Post
Edward: This entire project is an unmitigated - DISASTER.

This may be TMI (Too Much Information) for some, but it should serve as a warning to ALL ratepayers of ALL utilities.

I have lived in South Carolina for over 21 years. I am in an unusual position; not only am I a "ratepayer" (someone who always pays their monthly power bills) I am a also shareholder of SCANA (the holding company for SCE&G (the actual electrical/gas utility involved).

Curiously, about 17 years ago, both SCE&G and SCANA started to build major headquarters facilities for their executive offices. Glassed in offices, beautiful landscaping, reflecting pools, you name it, they built it - not once, but TWICE!!!. I actually attended an annual shareholder meeting to pose a question: "Why does SCANA (the holding company for SCE&G) and SCE&G need separate "headquarters" facilities when they will built less than a mile apart?" Wouldn't it be cheaper and more efficient to have both operations in the same facilities? You had think I farted in church. I was asked to leave the meeting. The next question I wanted to pose was" "with all of the vacant retail mall space available in Columbia, SC., why don't we convert the retail mall space to executive offices - for FAR less money"?

Subsequently, SCANA & SCE&G spent almost $200,000,000 on their brand new executive offices - paid for by the lowly ratepayers of SCE&G. Remember them?

Then, about ten years ago SCE&G starts working with the politicians in the state of South Carolina to get their "blessings" to increase utility rates with a massive one time rate increase to pay for ALL of the construction costs of two new nuclear power plants. The project is approved, the ratepayers "agree" to go along. Then, during construction of the two nuclear plants, rates are ADDITIONALLY increased not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, not five times not six times, not seven times but eight MORE "one time" further rate increases are shoved down the throats of the lowly ratepayers. Who continue to pay their utility bills. In the interim, executives of SCANA & SCE&G take hundreds of millions of dollars of "performance" bonuses for how well they are managing the project..

Then, not long ago, SCANA/SCE&G decide to "pull the plug" (pardon the awful pun) on the entire construction project of the two nuclear plants and now the ratepayers (remember them?) get stuck with the bill.

Did the executives of SCANA/SCE&G get fired for this? No.
Did the executives of SCANA/SCE&G have to repay their performance bonuses? No.

As I said this entire project was, is, and will continue to be an unmitigated - DISASTER. Especially for the ratepayers who got stuck with the bill.

There is a LOT more going on behind the scenes - things that are kept from ratepayers, but I will not bore you with THOSE details. One thing I have learned is that everyone needs to pay attention to what goes on in your utilities. All of us are getting screwed. You have no idea how bad it is until you start doing research and asking questions.

Oh.

In answer to your question about how much ratepayers will receive from the "settlement?"

Zero.

Zilce.

Nada.

Nice, huh?
Just curious...how does being a ratepayer and a shareholder of the utility that services you put you in an unusual position? You make it sound like your position gives you some special view of this. There are many people in this position all across the U.S., including employees of utility companies. I would say their position is less common than yours.
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