http://www.cleanenergy.org/2010/08/18/sace-media-advisory-fl-psc-nuclear-hearings/

SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

SACE Media Advisory: FL PSC nuclear hearings

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EXPERTS: AS $500 MILLION LEVEL IN “COST RECOVERY” BILLING DRAWS NEAR FOR RECESSION-WEARY FLORIDA ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS, NEW REACTOR PROSPECTS IN STATE HAVE NEVER LOOKED WORSE

Warning to Come Before Tuesday PSC Hearing on Latest Round of Nearly $200 Million in Proposed “Nuclear Cost Recovery” Coming On Top of the More Than Quarter Billion Dollars Already Authorized by State Regulators. TALLAHASSEE, FL./// NEWS ADVISORY///We told you so! That will be the message Thursday (August 19, 2010) from two leading experts who will warn that advanced billing imposed on Florida consumers will come dangerously close to the half billion dollar level if the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) authorizes nearly $200 million in additional “nuclear cost recovery” for FPL and Progress Energy to build four proposed new reactors.

Citing deteriorating circumstances (including fast-rising reactor costs, project delays, unresolved reactor design problems, falling natural gas prices and reduced demand due to the recession and increased energy efficiency) outlined in their 2009 testimony to the PSC, the experts will warn that the outlook for successful completion of new reactors has never looked worse in Florida. The real bottom line risk to consumer pocketbooks is that the state’s “nuclear cost recovery” arrangements for new reactor construction would allow for hundreds of millions of dollars to be taken from electricity customers even if the reactors in question never generate a single kilowatt of power.

The experts are urging the PSC to reject FPL and Progress Energy’s request to charge their customers for nearly $200 million more in advance for the proposed reactors. The PSC is holding hearings beginning Tuesday, August 24th, expects a staff recommendation by September 30th and a full commission vote by October 12th.

The Thursday news event will feature:

• Stephen Smith, executive director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy;

• Mark Cooper, senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School; and

• Arnold Gundersen, nuclear engineer and energy adviser at Fairewinds Associates, Inc.

In 2009 and now 2010, Cooper and Gundersen submitted written testimony on behalf of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy regarding FPL and Progress Energy’s proposed nuclear cost recovery plans in Florida.

TO PARTICIPATE: You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 1:30 p.m. EDT Thursday (August 19, 2010) by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the “Florida nuclear power” news event.

CAN’T PARTICIPATE?: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at http://www.cleanenergy.org as of 6 p.m. EDT on August 19, 2010.

CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or aawolf@hastingsgroup.com.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Founded in 1985, SACE is the only regional organization primarily focused on developing clean energy solutions throughout the Southeast.