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PostPosted: Jan 24, 2018 11:08 am 
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Gov. McMaster joins call to stop S.C. nuclear plant payments, casting doubt on utility sale

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Gov. Henry McMaster changed course Tuesday and said he's convinced South Carolina Electric & Gas should be forced to eat the costs of its failed nuclear project after a key government audit cast doubt on the power company's claim it would be bankrupted by the colossal bill. His announcement hammered the stock price of SCE&G parent SCANA Corp. — a slide that suggests Wall Street thinks its proposed sale to Dominion Energy could go up in smoke. SCANA shares are sitting 25 percent under Dominion's proposed purchase price.


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PostPosted: Jan 25, 2018 11:34 am 
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Toshiba learns a painful lesson about oversight

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It was against this backdrop that Toshiba approved Westinghouse's purchase in December 2015 of S&W for zero dollars.


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PostPosted: Feb 01, 2018 1:17 pm 
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S.C. House passes bill to halt nuclear-related payments to SCE&G, possibly dooming Dominion takeover

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With pressure mounting, the South Carolina House voted Wednesday to temporarily halt $37 million in monthly payments to SCANA, threatening a proposed takeover by Dominion Energy. State representatives ignored urgent pleas from SCANA, once the darling of South Carolina's business community, by overwhelmingly supporting a bill that relieves the Cayce-based company's electric customers from paying for two useless nuclear reactors at V.C. Summer station — for now. "We need to protect the ratepayer. That is our job. That is what we were elected to do," House Speaker Jay Lucas said during a rare speech from the House floor.


I really have no idea how SCE&G thought they could possibly get ratepayers to continue to pay for a reactor that they had quit building....but what do I know?


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PostPosted: Feb 14, 2018 8:06 pm 
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7 football fields worth of nuclear equipment gathering dust in SCE&G warehouses

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Nearly seven football fields worth of unused nuclear parts and equipment are gathering dust in two SCE&G warehouses, a state utility regulator said Tuesday. The parts, which the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff estimates are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, once were destined for two new nuclear reactors under construction at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County. But that project was abandoned last July by SCE&G and the state-owned Santee Cooper utility after they had spent $9 billion on the decadelong project, ruined by construction delays and cost overruns. Now, the equipment’s future is unknown, as the valves and components sit idle in two massive, off-site storage warehouses leased by the two utilities. The companies are paying nearly $2.5 million per year to lease the warehouses, Santee Cooper said Wednesday.


But SCE&G wants ratepayers to keep paying for this.


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PostPosted: Feb 22, 2018 11:36 pm 
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SCANA reports major financial losses as nuclear headache continues

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The Cayce-headquartered company reported a loss of $119 million, or 83 cents a share, for 2017, compared with earnings of $595 million, or $4.16 a share, for 2016, according to a news release from the utility Thursday. The company said the loss primarily was because of the abandoned nuclear construction project. SCANA reported its SCE&G subsidiary wrote off $908 million of the project’s value during the fourth quarter, an after-tax loss of $559 million. That move wrecked SCANA’s profits for the quarter and year.


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PostPosted: Mar 06, 2018 10:05 pm 
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Toshiba's finances on track to regain pre-crisis levels

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A successful sale could tack another 200 billion yen ($1.88 billion) onto the company's net worth, which Toshiba projected at 460 billion yen for the end of March in third-quarter earnings released Feb. 14. That would bring the shareholder's equity ratio to 16.1% -- close to the 17.1% it had for the year through March 2015, the year before an accounting scandal came to light, inflicting a wound that huge losses at Westinghouse then deepened.


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PostPosted: Mar 11, 2018 8:37 am 
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Could the fate of the nuclear surcharge come down to a 3.5 x 7 piece of paper?

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And one is an official notice from the Public Service Commission, all black and white in type so tiny I can barely make out all the words with my contacts in. It tells customers how they can comment on the merger. It’s the sort of notice we get whenever SCE&G applies for a rate increase that is not related to the nuclear construction project the company abandoned this summer. It’s the sort of notice that we did not get on the nine occasions when the utility filed for permission to raise rates to pay for the nuclear construction project. And the absence of those notices could decide the multi-billion-dollar battle over who pays for the failed project. That, in turn, could determine whether SCANA, South Carolina’s lone Fortunate 500 company, remains a Fortune 500 company, or goes bankrupt, or becomes part of Dominion, Virginia’s giant utility.


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PostPosted: Mar 12, 2018 9:25 am 
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Guest edit: Nothing about the S.C. nuclear debacle was prudent

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SCANA and Santee Cooper agreed in 2008 to move forward with construction on two new nuclear reactors without a final design, with an estimated price tag of more than $10 billion, which would eventually nearly double. The Westinghouse design was new and untested, as evidenced by the multiple revisions – including as late as 2011 – the company submitted to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Westinghouse knew that design issues might be a problem, according to correspondence from its CEO Danny Roderick obtained by two environmental groups and detailed in a Post and Courier report on Tuesday. But Westinghouse officials pushed back when SCANA and Santee Cooper started to raise concerns about delays and cost overruns almost immediately after construction began in 2013. The same emails suggest that Westinghouse, SCANA and Santee Cooper kept customers and shareholders – and state regulators – in the dark. In the meantime, both utilities proceeded to periodically and substantially raise rates in order to pay for a project they knew was likely to go over budget and fall behind schedule – if they could complete it at all. In fact, customers are still paying those higher rates, more than eight months after the reactors were abandoned.


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PostPosted: Apr 05, 2018 11:02 am 
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How hedge funds are suing nuclear plant contractors that South Carolina utilities didn't

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Westinghouse's nuclear reactor business had become a "de facto Ponzi scheme" by the time it foundered — a money pit that could only be filled by signing up more and more customers to build power plants. That's the case laid out in bankruptcy court filings by Citigroup and a group of hedge funds that have set out to do what a pair of South Carolina power companies didn’t: squeeze more money from the troubled company that could lower power bills for customers.


Uh-huh. But does this surprise anyone? Westinghouse had structured the Vogtle and Summer contracts as "loss-leaders"....they had to get more business after these reactors.

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They accuse Westinghouse of running a project that was "blatantly mismanaged for years." They accuse the company of pulling off an "'extend and pretend' scheme" to string the utilities along for years.


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PostPosted: Apr 25, 2018 8:17 pm 
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Westinghouse CEO opens up about collapse of 2000s 'nuclear renaissance'

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Moreover, the four nuclear power plants that Westinghouse Electric set about building were the first in the U.S. in about 30 years, after construction of new nuclear plants was halted in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident in 1979. The projects were also hit by swelling costs caused by major delays in the construction schedule, and as Westinghouse Electric's parent company Toshiba suffered huge losses, the American subsidiary ended up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Gutierrez believes that the loss of expertise in construction was a factor behind the failed construction projects, stating that, "A lot of vendors were not necessarily very well prepared for this."


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PostPosted: May 31, 2018 6:50 pm 
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Toshiba scraps project to build ABWRs in Texas

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Toshiba announced today that its board had decided TANE will withdraw from the project. "Toshiba will proceed with the necessary procedures for the withdrawal with all related parties, and target its early completion," the company said. It expects to complete its withdrawal by the end of this year.

"The economic circumstances supporting the project have declined as a result of significant decreases in electricity rates due to the shale gas revolution, and the trend to tighter regulation of nuclear power plants in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake," Toshiba said. "Under current and expected economic conditions, further development of STP units 3 and 4 has ceased to be financially viable. In addition, maintaining the project incurs continuous costs, and no investors have expressed an interest in participation." It continued, "In these circumstances, there is no clear pathway to securing profitability and Toshiba has decided to completely withdraw from the project. The company has resolved to cancel all contracts related to NINA, the EPC contract and deferred loans, and to forgive loans under loan contracts."

Toshiba said its decision to exit the STP units 3 and 4 project is in line with its basic policy "to eliminate risk from the overseas nuclear power business, particularly from construction-related cost overruns in nuclear power plant construction projects, by withdrawing from projects where Toshiba Group serves as prime contractor or has to bear risk from construction-related cost overruns".

The company said that, as of today, it has claims of USD641 million and an equity interest of USD147 million in the US ABWR project. However, it noted that it recorded allowances for most of all bad debt and impairment loss by FY2017, which ended 31 March 2018, and the impact on business results in FY2018 "will be minimal".


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PostPosted: Jun 27, 2018 8:40 pm 
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Westinghouse eyes Saudi, India deals as end to bankruptcy nears

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U.S. nuclear firm Westinghouse expects to emerge from bankruptcy with sufficient equity in coming weeks and is targeting Saudi Arabia and India for new reactor sales, its CEO said. Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management in January agreed to buy Westinghouse from Toshiba for $4.6 billion after cost overruns on U.S. reactors pushed the atomic energy pioneer into bankruptcy in March 2017. Westinghouse CEO Jose Gutierrez said the Brookfield deal would close as soon as it had been approved by U.S. and British nuclear regulators and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). “We are confident we will get those approvals in the next few weeks, we don’t see any roadblocks,” Gutierrez told Reuters at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris. Once the deal is closed, Westinghouse will officially emerge from bankruptcy and Brookfield will recapitalise the firm. “We will have the right capital structure and the necessary cash for running our business,” Gutierrez said. The amount of money to be injected is under discussion. Westinghouse hopes sales will get a boost when the first of four long-delayed AP1000 reactors in China starts up this year. Gutierrez said fuel had been loaded in the Haiyang 1 reactor on Tuesday and the Sanmen 2 reactor was waiting for permission to load fuel. The Haiyang 2 had finished hot functional testing and would be ready to load fuel soon, he said. Sanmen 1, in Zhejiang province, loaded fuel in April, ran its first nuclear reactions in June and is set for commercial operation by November, Chinese authorities said this month. Contracts for the four reactors - two at Sanmen and two at Haiyang in Shandong province - were signed in 2007-2009. The first one had been scheduled to launch in 2014. Gutierrez said Chinese authorities expect two or maybe three AP1000s will connect to the grid before end of 2018. Projects for six more AP1000s in China are pending and Westinghouse expects China will build a fleet of at least 20 AP1000s in the coming decade. As Westinghouse has transferred the technology to China it will not benefit from new builds, but expects to earn money on providing fuel and maintenance. About 85 percent of Westinghouse revenue comes from fuel and services, only about 15 percent from building new reactors. Not having a working AP1000 has hampered Westinghouse and other vendors have won major tenders instead. This month, Russia’s Rosatom stole a march on Westinghouse with a contract to sell four VVER-1200 reactors. Two of those will be built at Xudaobao in northeast China, on a site once earmarked for Westinghouse. In April, Westinghouse received strong support from U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry for its plan to build six AP1000s in India, a massive project set in motion by a U.S.-India agreement 10 years ago. But since Toshiba will no longer act as master builder, there are doubts about the plan. “Now that we are emerging from Chapter 11, we are resuming conversations with India,” Gutierrez said. Westinghouse is also waiting for Saudi Arabia to decide on a shortlist of two to three bidders to build two nuclear plants. Besides Westinghouse, state-owned companies from Russia, France, China and South Korea are in the running. “It is a reality that the other four bidders are countries and we are a private company,” Gutierrez said, adding that he was confident that Westinghouse would be on the shortlist. The Saudi authorities had been due to decide at the end of March. Once the shortlist is made, bidders will discuss business models and financing, a process that will take at least another year before Saudi Arabia picks a winner. Gutierrez said that during its bankruptcy, Westinghouse - which sells services, fuel and spare parts to almost 80 percent of world’s 450 reactors - had not lost a single contract. Gutierrez had no news on Toshiba’s attempts to sell its NuGen unit, which has a project to build reactors in Britain. Westinghouse is also working on finalising two AP1000 reactors in Vogtle, Georgia by 2021. Two other AP1000s under construction in the United States were abandoned, half-built as costs got out of hand.


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PostPosted: Jul 02, 2018 2:48 am 
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Why should India take the risk of company known for not working to cost and under bankruptcy procedure? There are better alternatives available.


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PostPosted: Jul 02, 2018 2:58 am 
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Gutierrez said that during its bankruptcy, Westinghouse - which sells services, fuel and spare parts to almost 80 percent of world’s 450 reactors - had not lost a single contract. Gutierrez had no news on Toshiba’s attempts to sell its NuGen unit, which has a project to build reactors in Britain.


Well, Moreside reactor in Britain could be considered a loss. The AP1000 was approved over a year ago. By now, a strike price should be agreed and the bulldozers should be warming up, if not yet digging. As it is, it seems KEPCO is now preferred bidder, which means they will have to spend four years certifying their reactor design.

Westinghouse seems to have failed in the developed world, so now hopes that developing country buyers will be easier to convince? That might have worked in the 1970s, but not now.

Better to focus on the Chinese AP1000s...
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/ ... ronization
...but despite this, Westinghouse is going to struggle to sell another AP1000. A bit like EDF and the EPR.


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PostPosted: Jul 07, 2018 5:37 pm 
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SCANA subsidiary sues South Carolina over $365M rate cut tied to failed nuclear project


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