Holy Moly!!! Vogtle Nuke Plant: $34 Billion, 250% Over Budget & 6 Years Late

#4

MG1968

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#4
Seems a bit odd for a site plastered with Trump coins to advocate for government control of nuclear power. One of the biggest issues with building a nuke plant in the US is the inevitable lawsuits filed by the green mafia. Those add to the costs and delay construction for years.
 
#7

NorthDallas40

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#7
I grew up in the shadow of the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. No fumes, no weird smells, no coal ash collapses into the local watershed, just a siren at noon on the first Wednesday of each month. And cheap, reliable power.

More nuclear, please.
Plus living that close if something goes really south you won’t even time to say “oh s$&@“. Win win
 
#8

Rasputin_Vol

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#8
#10

Weezy

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#10
I think every major construction project in America is being abused. But it looks like the Chinese builds of the AP1000s took 10 years too. Probably just not an easy design to build. Vogtle is following through... sunk costs. I hope it pays off for them, but we won't build another nuclear plant in this country for a very long time. And when we do, it will likely be a Chinese or Korean build, not the AP1000.
 
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#12

NorthDallas40

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#12
Let's say that they do have a bias. Is 6 years behind schedule and 250% over budget fake news?
How much was driven by federal interference? I’m shocked anybody would try to build a nuke plant or as in this case expand a nuke plant in the US now. I can absolutely tell you that the idiot government is directly responsible for a large amount of cost and schedule over runs in programs they meddle … er … oversee
 
#13

Rasputin_Vol

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#13
How much was driven by federal interference? I’m shocked anybody would try to build a nuke plant or as in this case expand a nuke plant in the US now. I can absolutely tell you that the idiot government is directly responsible for a large amount of cost and schedule over runs in programs they meddle … er … oversee
OK. I don't disagree with your assessment about govt interference too much. But WTF does that have to do with the 6 year behind schedule or cost over runs being biased by the writers of the story? Didn't we see just last week that the Biden Administration went after new offshore oil drilling permits also?
 
#14

NorthDallas40

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#14
OK. I don't disagree with your assessment about govt interference too much. But WTF does that have to do with the 6 year behind schedule or cost over runs being biased by the writers of the story? Didn't we see just last week that the Biden Administration went after new offshore oil drilling permits also?
I don’t know the details why I didn’t dig into them as I figured it was a hit piece. But I can assure you that the fed can and will meddle into contractor work especially when the NRC is involved and add needless cost and delay. Happens weekly across the country in defense contracting.
 
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#16

Godfatha

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#16
Not surprising considering how difficult Georgia Power/Southern Companies makes it to work. I’ve worked at DuPont, BASF, DOE, USACE, NAVFAC, and several other sites and by far Southern Company sites are the worst.
 
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#18

Smokey X

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#18
The Vogtle and V.C. Summer projects never had a chance for successful completion on schedule or budget. That is likely to happen when a contract for engineering, procurement, and construction is awarded to a company (Westinghouse) that is traditionally a vendor and supplier of NSSS systems and components but has NEVER constructed a nuclear plant. I can't believe that SCEG and Southern Co. snatched the bait.
 
#19

Rasputin_Vol

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#19
The Vogtle and V.C. Summer projects never had a chance for successful completion on schedule or budget. That is likely to happen when a contract for engineering, procurement, and construction is awarded to a company (Westinghouse) that is traditionally a vendor and supplier of NSSS systems and components but has NEVER constructed a nuclear plant. I can't believe that SCEG and Southern Co. snatched the bait.
Well, it is easy to pick on Westinghouse, but I think it is more sinister than that. I'm not sure there are many, if any, contractor groups in our country anymore that could pick up that task because we have basically lost an entire generation of engineers and designers since the nuclear construction programs shutdown in the 1980s.
 
#20

Smokey X

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#20
Well, it is easy to pick on Westinghouse, but I think it is more sinister than that. I'm not sure there are many, if any, contractor groups in our country anymore that could pick up that task because we have basically lost an entire generation of engineers and designers since the nuclear construction programs shutdown in the 1980s.
I don't disagree at all with the fact that a generation has been lost. However, Westinghouse and the utilities got the ball rolling with inadequate plans, etc. such that they would never regain what they lost.

I don't really think it is sinister as much as it is pizz poor performance. They had thousands of craft on site continuously that could not work due to lack of drawings, parts, major components, etc.

See what you think of the attached link.

What Went Wrong on the Westinghouse Nuclear Projects
 
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#21

Rasputin_Vol

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#21
I don't really think it is sinister as much as it is pizz poor performance. They had thousands of craft on site continuously that could not work due to lack of drawings, parts, major components, etc.
Sinister may not be the best phrasing, but it is clear that engineering in this country has suffered because of the lost tribal knowledge and lack of promoting new talent to enter the field.

At this point, the US may just need to consider biting the bullet and allowing some of these foreign countries to do the actual design work and oversight, while they use these nuclear construction sites as training grounds for a bunch of field engineers, technicians and craftsmen.
 
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#22

Smokey X

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#22
Sinister may not be the best phrasing, but it is clear that engineering in this country has suffered because of the lost tribal knowledge and lack of promoting new talent to enter the field.

At this point, the US may just need to consider biting the bullet and allowing some of these foreign countries to do the actual design work and oversight, while they use these nuclear construction sites as training grounds for a bunch of field engineers, technicians and craftsmen.
there is no doubt that there is a shortage of craft & others and they need quality experience. Most recently before I retired a couple of years ago, I worked with some very highly skilled engineering and craft folks supporting the completion and start up of Watts Bar 2 and also at a DOE facility in Idaho. So they are out there but there may not be enough of them to support multiple projects.

IMHO, the real shortage of quality engineering and construction experience is in some of the management and executive positions where MBA's and bean counting are treated more important than engineering backgrounds. End of rant.
 
#23

Rasputin_Vol

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#23
IMHO, the real shortage of quality engineering and construction experience is in some of the management and executive positions where MBA's and bean counting are treated more important than engineering backgrounds. End of rant.
There needs to be a reversion to paying the people and focusing on the people that actually turn the screws and do the heavy lifting. The bean counters, lawyers and others that add no value to the final product have been overcompensated and the craftsmen and engineers have been underappreciated.
 
#24

AM64

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#24
Let's say that they do have a bias. Is 6 years behind schedule and 250% over budget fake news?
There's always been difficulty in building nuclear plants on time and within budget. They are complex and long term - I don't know how you can even build one today without the electronics being obsolete by the finish. Regulation requires that things be done and approved - this is a little different twist on military equipment where things keep evolving an prices keep increasing with respect to hardware that has a long lead time. The military keeps changing and the nuclear industry is forced to stay fixed. That's hard to do when so much of the stuff that goes into building the plant has to be qualified and materials keep changing faster outside nuclear. Even simply basic stuff like wire ties and tape have qualifications, and manufacturers like to change stuff - a small change in formulation could mean noncompliance in a radiation environment.

Another issue is that labor will be union, and that's a whole different can of worms. Which trade is supposed to do this and that leading to featherbedding and work stoppages. We installed a system in a plant. A very simple installation because I bought an equipment rack identical to the one in the plant and the system was installed in it in our shop - everything including cabling made to fit. We went through an entire 8 hour shift monitoring the installation, and it was no where finished at the end of the shift. If you tried to show the guys what to do, you got "I see non-union hands in this cabinet" etc. Two guys came in on the night shift, sat back, and let us work, Done and checked out in a couple of hours. Unions don't want a construction job to end, and they work to see that it doesn't end.
 
#25

Rasputin_Vol

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#25
Another issue is that labor will be union, and that's a whole different can of worms. Which trade is supposed to do this and that leading to featherbedding and work stoppages. We installed a system in a plant. A very simple installation because I bought an equipment rack identical to the one in the plant and the system was installed in it in our shop - everything including cabling made to fit. We went through an entire 8 hour shift monitoring the installation, and it was no where finished at the end of the shift. If you tried to show the guys what to do, you got "I see non-union hands in this cabinet" etc. Two guys came in on the night shift, sat back, and let us work, Done and checked out in a couple of hours. Unions don't want a construction job to end, and they work to see that it doesn't end.
I admit that I witnessed similar incidents myself. It annoys the hell out of me, also. There is work that needs to done by the unions and that needs to be communicated to them that this sort of stonewalling only hurts them. However, even with that, I can point to engineering and management decisions being just as frustrating, if not more frustrating. There is enough blame to go around.
 

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