South Texas nuke expansion project cuts staff

About 20 of the roughly 100 contractor personnel working on the proposed addition of two new 1,350-MW nuclear units at the South Texas nuclear station have been let go.

Nuclear Innovation North America (NINA), an 88/12 joint venture of NRG Energy and Toshiba, currently owns 92.35% of the planned expansion, and CPS Energy, the municipal utility in San Antonio owns the remaining 7.65%.   In May, NINA announced Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to eventually take up to a 20% stake in NINA’s share, beginning with a 10% stake in that share–or a 9.235% stake in the  project itself–if a $7 billion federal loan guarantee is secured.

NINA has recently said it expects the project to cost about $13 billion, including $10 billion in “overnight” costs and $3 billion in financing costs. Although earlier cost projections have put the project coming in at $18 billion.

At this time, there is spectulation that the remaining loan guarantees will go to Calvert Cliffs in Maryland.  NINA has said they would not go forward with the expansion without the loan guarantees.  Could this be the beginning of the end for the STP expansion?  Stay tuned.

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